About Platelet Rich Plasma Therapy

Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) Therapy is the ultimate anti-aging treatment. PRP takes advantage of the wound healing properties of the platelets and the associated growth factors inducing cell regeneration and repair along with enhanced collagen production.

Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) is an autologous (one’s own) blood component with a high concentration of platelets. PRP is nothing more than a human blood clot with increased platelet numbers.

PRP or Dracula’ therapy is a very safe and highly effective treatment which originates from our better understanding of platelet physiology and the therapeutic effects of the platelet related biochemical compounds such as growth factors, cytokines and chemokines.

PRP treatments have become very popular with celebrities including top athletes such as Tiger Woods and leading Hollywood actors and actresses such as Angelina Jolie.

Physiology and Function of Platelets

Platelets, or thrombocytes (Greek), are derived from megakaryocytes (very large cells) in the bone marrow. Through a fragmentation process, aged megakaryocytes with the help of a glycoprotein hormone, called thrombopoietin, yield small round cell fragments without nucleus which are subsequently released into the circulation as newly produced platelets.

Platelets’ main function is to form clots causing bleeding to stop. Formation of clots is the end result of a series of enzymatic reactions known as the coagulation cascade involving a variety of cell-signalling protein molecules such as cytokines that are secreted by platelets.

In addition, platelets are metabolically more active than red blood cells and constitute a natural source of growth factors.

Growth Factors are proteins that promote wound healing, collagen production, and the growth, organization and maintenance of cells and tissues.

During platelet activation at sites of vessel wall injury secretory organelles, called alpha granules, release their content which consists of numerous chemically active proteins such as growth factors.

Extensive research has revealed a long list of proteins and hormones that are found in the alpha granules of platelets. Some of these include:

  • Insulin-like growth factor 1(IGF1): deficiency is associated with neurodegenerative and cardiovascular diseases, heart failure, and shorter life span.
  • Platelet-derived growth factor (PDGF): plays an important role in cell development and new blood vessel formation.
  • Transforming growth factor beta (TGF-β): favours the synthesis of collagen; is believed to be important in regulation of the immune system; potentially defective function can lead to cancer.
  • Platelet factor 4 (PF4): a small cytokine which is believed to have anti-inflammatory properties and play an important role in wound repair.
  • Epidermal growth factor (EGF): regulates cell growth, proliferation, and survival.
  • Vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF): helps restore oxygen when blood circulation is inadequate; is involved in the formation of new blood vessels.
  • Platelet-derived endothelial growth factor (PDEGF): has been implicated in tissue remodelling, cellular differentiation and blood vessel formation (angiogenesis).
  • Clotting proteins such as thrombospondin, fibronectin, and von Willebrand factor.

Within an hour of platelet activation more than 90% of these extremely important proteins are secreted from alpha granules playing a crucial role in wound repair and cell regeneration.

How does PRP work as anti-aging treatment?

PRP is nothing more than the same blood clot that would be in any normal wound, except the higher platelet concentration. The process of clotting activates platelets, which begin to secrete their growth factors.

Injected into the skin within minutes from the clot formation following controlled centrifugation, this activated solution of platelets and growth factors promotes the production of collagen and hyaluronic acid, leading to improvement of wrinkles, skin laxity, loss of volume and scarring.

Can Growth Factors cause cancer?

PRP therapy causes activated platelets to release growth factors. These growth factors promote tissue healing and bio cellular regeneration.

All growth factors act on cell membranes, not the cell nucleus. Therefore growth factors cannot cause cancer, unlike true carcinogens such as radiation, tobacco anthracene tars, UV light, etc.

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