Stem cell research has been miraculous in medical treatments. It has so far helped with restoring sensation to those who are paralyzed and has helped those who are almost blind be able to read again. New developments have been made in stem cell research to cure alcoholism to stop the symptoms of brain inflammation and oxidative stress common in alcoholism.

Pro-inflammatory brain conditions tend to increase in voluntary alcohol consumption. Stem cell research is hoped to help fix this problem. The University of Chile did a study last year regarding stem cell research and alcoholism. Rats would be encouraged to drink by adding sweeteners to the drinks and giving them low concentrations of alcohol. The research team would give rats with high alcohol levels intracerebral injections of mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) in order to reduce their alcohol consumption.

MSCs are a specific type of immune altering cells found in human fat tissue. They have the power to stop the production of reactive oxygen species in the brain that lead to alcoholism. The challenges that the research team has posed is that MSCs will not be able to reach the brain if they are inserted intravenously since the molecules are too large. The team decided to blend the MSCs to smaller spheroid shapes which would reduce the over size of the MSCs to 75%, making it possible to reach the brain.

The team inserted these newly-sized MSCs into the rats with a high alcohol level of a bottle of vodka a day. The results have shown that the MSCs have reduced brain inflammation and oxidative stress. This combination can promote the risk of relapse as proteins are produced that produce proteins that lead to damage and for the brain to crave alcohol to feel better. In 48 hours, the alcohol intake was reduced to 90%. Neuroinflammation reduced and the effects lasted three to five weeks. As of now, there needs to be human clinical studies and volunteers to participate in order to verify the results for stem cell therapies. The team is currently harvesting small nano-particles from MSCs to be administered as an intranasal spray. This study proves that there is a link between stem cell research and alcoholism. This research has the potential to provide the cure for alcohol that alcoholics have been waiting for to better understand the brain when it is under the influence and can prevent relapses.

Located in downtown Midland, The Springboard Center’s mission is to offer programs and services to treat alcohol and drug addiction treatment using an evidence based curriculum, 12 step programs, diet, nutrition, exercise, emotional, mental and spiritual development for a long recovery. For more information, please call us at 432-620-0255 as we are open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.