Juvenile arthritis is a group of systemic inflammatory disorders which cause joint inflammation and stiffness in children. Symptoms include swelling, warmth and redness. Juvenile arthritis is usually caused by the immune system over working and harming the body, this is why it is an autoimmune disease.
Stem cells are produced in the bone marrow. They are immature cells that have the potential to self-generate themselves into many different cell types in the body. Stem cell therapy is an opportunity to alleviate the symptoms of juvenile arthritis.
Firstly, the stem cells are collected from the patient’s bone marrow and stored. The patient will then receive extremely high doses of chemotherapy, this virtually destroys the immune system so that the body can re-learn how to defend itself. The stem cells are then implanted back into the body with the aim to regenerate the immune system and therefore produce blood cells free of the autoimmune antibodies that cause the disorder.