Autoimmune Disease, Stem Cells, and Lyme Patients
Although there is some evidence that stem cells migrate to the site of damage in the body upon transplantation it is not necessarily the case that stem cell therapy would stimulate the immune system in the desired fashion. Indeed, immune system stimulation could actually increase inflammation and tissue damage. Where a patient with unrecognized chronic Lyme disease is also suspected of having an autoimmune condition such as rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, or even fibromyalgia the use of autologous stem cell therapy may be contraindicated. This is because the problem is thought to lie in the patients’ own cells, making a transplant of such cells unlikely to be of benefit and perhaps even be dangerous in propelling the disease progression through immune system stimulation or increased inflammation and stress.
Rebuilding the Damaged Immune System
Embryonic stem cell therapy or cord blood stem cell treatment may be beneficial for autoimmune conditions however, with some research suggesting that a combination of chemotherapy to destroy the patients’ faulty immune system cells, followed by stem cell therapy to rebuild their immune system could reeducate their bodies and combat these seemingly incurable illnesses. As Lyme disease is due to bacterial infection and not confirmed as an autoimmune disease, even when symptoms become chronic, it is not clear that there would be a similar benefit from stem cell treatment for Lyme disease.