Patients with Peripheral Arterial Disease (PAD), suffer from fat deposits that block the arteries causing a reduction in blood supply to the limbs. The reduced blood supply can cause cell death due to oxygen deprivation resulting in ulcers that do not heal easily. The unhealed ulcers may thereby invite a host of infections pushing a patient towards a need for amputation.
In U.K alone nearly 2.7 million people suffer from PAD above the age of 55 years. This condition literally cripples the person making them unable to walk. Poor circulation can also cause the skin tissue to die and also lead to various other complications
Peripheral Arterial Disease is generally treated with the same drugs that are prescribed for heart disease such as statins that reduce the level of cholesterol, aspirin that aids as an anti- coagulant and clopidogrel that also prevents clotting of blood.
In many cases, patients may need a balloon shunting procedure by insertion of a stent or other advanced technique that can increase the flow of blood. Now this modern technique using stem cells employs retrieved stem cells which are injected into the damaged cells. These stem cells are considered to serve as an internal repair system that replenishes cells that are damaged.
The stem cells divide rapidly and become specialized cells and in this case they become new muscle cells and blood vessels at the damaged site. Thereby, when injected into leg the stem cells unblock the furred arteries in the site and also activate them to become new blood vessels. These actions of the stem cells prevent the need for amputation by bringing in an increased flow of blood to the area. The increase in blood to the damaged site clears the dead cells and also helps in healing of the ulcer, thus enabling the patient to walk with Peripheral Arterial Disease (PAD).