Covid 19 03 May 2020
UAE‘s Stem Cell Centre On The Verge Of Finding A Potential Covid-19 Treatment !
Most of the scientists and leading medical researchers believe that the vaccine for Covid-19 will take at least a year to develop. The fact that there is no remedy available is by and large making things more difficult, thus resulting in huge deaths.
However, there is some good news and this could be a game-changing moment, as far as treatment of Covid-19 is concerned.
For the first time in the UAE, clinical trials are underway for the treatment of Covid-19, which involves making use of stem cells. Dr. Fatima Al Kaabi, Head of Hematology and Oncology at Shiekh Khalifa Medical City said that the breakthrough treatment made by the Abu Dhabi Stem Cell Centre is a great national achievement. She is also an assistant researcher in the stem cell project and had to say this about the work ” Up to 28 specialists and researchers formed the basis of the team that came up with this big breakthrough treatment”.
What the treatment is all about?
In the press conference that was held on the 2nd of May, 2020, the officials made it very clear that the treatment does not provide any cure, but it rather supports the actual procedure. As of now, this new treatment is undergoing clinical trials for the first time in the UAE. By and large, the treatment helps the Covid-19 positive patients to overcome the symptoms caused by the virus. However, it does not in any manner kill the virus.
The procedure of the treatment involves the extraction of stem cells from the patient’s own blood and introducing after activating them. For the same reason, the patent was granted for the method through which the stem cells from the patients are sourced.
One good thing about this treatment is that it does not require a surgical operation, as in the case of other types of stem cells. A blood sample from the patient is sourced and injected back into the lungs without surgical intervention but via a stem cell nebulisation.
After nebulising the same in a fine mist, the treatment generally requires the patient to inhale back the same into their respective lungs. Most of the researchers believe this tends to have a therapeutic effect caused by the regeneration of lung cells.
Other than these, the treatment also modulates the immune response from overreacting to the Covid-19 infections, thus reducing the extent of damage to the healthy cells.
How the patients are responding?
The experts have made it a point to clarify that the treatment procedure is being offered to the patients by taking into consideration all the major factors. Having successfully gone through the initial period of successful trials, this does make it clear that the procedure itself is very safe.
Besides, none of the patients being treated with the mist have shown any adverse effects. In fact, trails to demonstrate the efficiency of the stem cell treatment is still ongoing and is expected to be completed in a matter of a few weeks.
So far, 73 patients have been treated with Stem Cells with 25 of them in the ICU. The first experiment was carried out on April 4.
Will the treatment work?
Due to the absence and non-availability of any vaccine or cure, the measures that are being enforced to stop the spread of viruses generally involve staying at home and following social distancing rules. This to a large extent will help reduce the burden of a pandemic on the existing healthcare system.
It is important to keep in mind that Abu Dhabi Steam Cells Centre is a prominent healthcare centre that focuses entirely on cell therapy, regenerative medicines, and cutting edge research.
Do Children show more resistance to Covid-19?
According to Dr. Alawi Al Sheikh, UAE spokesperson for the Advanced Science Sector underlined the massive effort of Mohammed Bion Rashid University of Medicine and Health Science and Al Jalila Children’s Specialty Hospital along with the University of Sharjah who have made it a point to research the impact of Covid-19 virus on children. All the research work showed that children have far more resistance that seniors.
He said “We tried to conduct a number of studies to understand how cells contract the disease. The cell surfaces contain receptors. These are gates that can grant access to some but not all to enter. Some of these cells are in the respiratory system. Once the virus enters the respiratory system, it enters its genome characteristics, and overtakes functions of cells, like producing proteins, multiplying DNA, the cell then becomes a factory of viruses. The abundance of viruses means the immune system will exert more effort to fight the intruders and by doing that the gravity and severity of the case continue."
One particular study also found out that receptors are less in tissues of the nose and lung cells of children compared to seniors. Because of the lesser number of receptors in the cells, it does contribute to limiting the spread of disease among children. The same study also found that the number of receptors increases among smokers and people from asthma, respiratory problems, and other health issues such as hypertension and diabetes.