The therapeutic value of the placenta’s amniotic membrane has been known for over 100 years, with doctors using it to speed up wound healing. However, many researchers believe that it may be far more useful than previously thought.
There is now evidence to suggest that the amniotic membrane may be used to treat a wide range of conditions including diabetes, brain injuries, cardiovascular conditions, and more. This guide will share more detail on the recent ground-breaking clinical trials involving the use of the amniotic membrane.
1. Type II Diabetes
A group of Chinese researchers published details of a study in 2016, which demonstrated that stem cells collected from neonatal amniotic membrane could be used to treat type 2 diabetes.
The researchers found that study participants experienced improved glycemic control. After subsequent treatments, the test subjects no longer required the use of insulin injections to control their blood glucose levels. If the results of this trial can be replicated, it could lead to a cure for type 2 diabetes in coming years.
2. Brain Injuries
A team of researchers from Italy and the United Kingdom recently looked at the capacity of placenta-derived cells to treat acute brain injuries. They reviewed several other studies which tested the ability of stem cells to protect and regenerate the damaged brain.
They found that amnion–derived multipotent progenitor cells showed excellent results in animal testing. The stem cells were found to stimulate neurogenesis and reduce inflammation in the brain, protecting it from damage.
3. Cardiovascular Conditions
There is some evidence to suggest that the amniotic membrane may help the components of the heart heal after an injury or surgery. A 2017 study found that amniotic membrane patches could help patients recover after receiving a pericardiectomy to treat constrictive pericarditis. They found that the patch was particularly effective at reducing inflammation and improving how quickly the heart healed.
4. Liver Cirrhosis
A 2018 study found that a human amniotic membrane could improve the condition of the liver is young rats with liver cirrhosis. The found that the membrane promoted tissue regeneration, inhibited fibrosis, and reduced inflammation.
5. Dry Eye
In 2018, a team of researchers from the United States looked at the ability of cryopreserved amniotic membrane to improve the condition of patients with dry eye disease. The study involved 84 patients across 10 clinical sites in the United States. The researchers found 88% patients saw a significant improvement in their condition after the use of amniotic membrane.
The amniotic membrane is an excellent source of mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs). This type of stem cell is capable of differentiating into several cell types, including bone, ligament, and muscle cells.
A clinician trial performed at the Hospital of Jiangsu University in 2018 found that an injection of MSCs could reduce the symptoms of this condition. The researchers believe the improvements were from mesenchymal stem cells regenerating cartilage cells within the knee and reducing inflammation.
The growth factors, hormones, and cytokines found within the placenta may be useful for treating inflammatory conditions like contact dermatitis. A 2018 animal study performed by Chinese researchers found that a topical application of placenta extracts alleviated local and systemic inflammatory responses. This greatly reduced the symptoms of dermatitis in the mice used in the study.
Sciatica is a common form of back pain that occurs when pressure is place on the sciatic nerve in the lower back. In 2006, a team of researchers from the Department of Oriental Medicine, Daejeon University, Korea, looked at the effect of placental tissue on the condition.
They found that the level of axonal growth-associated protein in the injured sciatic nerve increased. This change indicated that the damage to the tissue around the nerve was being reversed.
9. Multiple sclerosis
A 2015 study published in the journal Multiple Sclerosis and Related Disorders, suggestes that placenta-derived mesenchymal stem cells may be useful for treating multiple sclerosis. The researchers found that the majority of study participants had stable or improved levels of disability 1 year after receiving a stem cell transplant.
As you can see, there have been many ground-breaking trials using the amniotic membrane in recent years. The therapeutic potential of the amnion is the reason why so many parents are opting to store placental tissue after the birth of their child.
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