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International Blog Spotlight: Dubai

The Basics of Stem Cells

Dr. Maria Angelo-Khattar, MD, PhD, MSc Dermatology
Founder & Director of Aesthetic Clinic in Dubai

In layman terms, what are stems cells with regards to anti-aging?

Stem cells are the ‘mother’ of all cells, recruited for the replenishment and regeneration of the tissue of the organs in which they live. Stem cells are very useful for regenerative therapy. and are capable of releasing various growth factors that can participate in the healing process.

How are they used cosmetically in the field of anti-aging?

Adipose-derived stem cells can give dramatically results in terms of anti-aging. Essentially, the process begins with the extraction of a small amount of fat (20cc) using syringe liposuction; the fat is then sent to a labs, in which the stem cells and extraction are cultured to produce millions of stem cells. These can be immediately injected into the desired area, or they can be cryo-preserved for further use. Stem cells injected superficially in the dermal layer of the skin are differentiated into fibroblasts (collagen producing cells), which then produce collagen and elastin: the structural foundations of the skin. In terms of scalp regeneration, the stem cells improve the health of existing hair follicles. Stem cells are now also being used during the process of fat transfer, during which millions of stem cells are mixed with autologous fat that is grafted to areas such as the face, breasts or buttocks. 

This is completely different from a standard fat transfer, which does not produce the same healing, regenerative, and restorative benefits. Moreover, a fat transfer to the breasts or face is generally reabsorbed by the body, and disappears within months. With adipose-derived stem cells, the results have been proven to be long-lasting. 

What are some of the key benefits of stems cells and why do you feel they are the wave of the future?

Stem cells are attractive candidates for the development of new and novel therapies, targeting indications that involve functional restoration of defective tissue. In addition to using stem cells for anti-aging, they can also be used for natural body shaping and contouring. By using the patient’s autologous cells, we eliminate the chance of rejection, while we simultaneously maximize the benefits such as healing and regeneration of the targeted tissues.

What can we expect to see in the future in the field of anti-aging and stem cells?

Potentially, the most important application of human stem cells is the regeneration of tissues that could be used for cell-based therapies. Currently, donated organs and tissues are often used to replace destroyed tissue, but there is a limit to the supply of transplantable tissues. It might be possible to direct stem cells to differentiate into specific cell type; hence, we would have a possible renewable source of replacement cells and tissues to treat conditions such as heart disease, diabetes, osteoarthritis, spinal cord injury, and burns.

Dr. Khattar is the only Director of the American Academy of Anti-Aging Medicine (A4M) outside the U.S. who is certified to conduct the hands-on modules for the U.S. Aesthetic Medicine Fellowship. For more information on the latest treatments in regenerative medicine, follow Dr. Khattar on Instagram @dr.maria.khattar, or contact the Aesthetic Clinic in Dubai at 04 429 8533 / www.aestheticaclinic.com.

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ATTN: Pharmacists

The Ohio State Board of Pharmacy is proposing changes to the ways in which prescriptions for controlled substances are written, hoping to impose ICD-1O codes. ICD-10 codes are based upon the International Classification of Diseases, published by the World Health Organization, which uses unique alphanumeric codes to identify diseases and other health problems. These records are used by healthcare professionals for storage assistance, and retrieval of diagnostic information; ICD records are also used in the compilation and publication of national mortality / morbidity statistics.

For those pharmacists who use e-prescribing, software updates would likely be implemented; for those who use paper prescriptions, ICD-10 codes would require additional fields. For pharmacists who do not currently include ICD-10 codes in their prescribing software or electronic medical records, they would be required to locate the accurate ICD-10 code prior to filling prescriptions. These changes would likely add to the administrative burdens of pharmacists, as they would be compelled to obtain information from prescribers or prescribers’ agents prior to prescription dispensations. Further concerns focus on privacy, whether e-prescribing systems will be able to accommodate these changes, and–perhaps most importantly–concerns that these requirements would take away significant time from patient care.

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Physician of the Month: Shaily Shah, DO, FAARM, ABAARM

A4M valued member Shaily Shah, DO, FAARM, ABAARM shares insight from her professional experience in this Physician of the Month feature.

Dr. Shaily Shah is an integrative medicine physician committed to the health and longevity of her patients. Prior to discovering A4M, she practiced internal medicine in a large multi-specialty group. She realized there were additional ways to help her patients beyond traditional medicine, and at the encouragement of a colleague, she entered into the fellowship program through A4M. After becoming board-certified, she opened her own practice, where she incorporates both traditional and anti-aging techniques in the management of her patients.

Q: Before joining A4M, what was your medical background?

I was in my first year of practice as an internal medicine physician in St. Louis, MO. Prior to that I was in internal medicine residency at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York, NY.

Q: What anti-aging techniques have you incorporated into your practice? How did you so?

As an internist it was quite simple to incorporate anti-aging techniques in my practice. I was already treating a wide variety of diseases, and I found anti-aging techniques blended in seamlessly. They allowed me to offer an alternative form of treatment, as well as a complementary form of treatment to traditional practices. I currently utilize BHRT, vitamin/nutrient optimization, gut healing, detoxification, weight management and, of course, functional management of chronic disease (hypertension, diabetes, major depression, etc.).

Q: What are the benefits of practicing anti-aging medicine–both as a professional, and for your practice?

I get to spend more time with my patients. This time is critical in establishing the patient-physician relationship and in formulating their treatment plan. I also get to utilize advance medical technologies.

Q: What are the changes you see in your patients?

My patients are healthier and happier than the ones I saw in my traditional medicine practice. They are able to cut back or eliminate their medications, and they have a better quality of life.

Q: Why would you recommend Anti-Aging Medicine to your peers?

Anti-aging medicine is the future of medicine. It provides a benefit to patients’ overall health that they are not currently getting from traditional medicine. It focuses on the root cause of disease as opposed to masking it with multiple medications.

Q: Where do you see the future of Anti-Aging medicine 20 years from now?

Anti-aging medicine will be more widespread. I believe it will be taught in medical schools, and incorporated in various specialties. It will have a wider range of acceptance because this type of medicine truly works.

 

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