Spinal cord injury (SCI) is a devastating condition that enormously affects an individual’s health and quality of life. Neurogenic lower urinary tract dysfunction (NLUTD) is one of the most important sequelae induced by SCI, causing complications including urinary tract infection, renal function deterioration, urinary incontinence, and voiding dysfunction. Current therapeutic methods for SCI-induced NLUTD mainly target on the urinary bladder, but the outcomes are still far from satisfactory. Stem cell therapy has gained increasing attention for years for its ability to rescue the injured spinal cord directly. Stem cell differentiation and their paracrine effects, including exosomes, are the proposed mechanisms to enhance the recovery from SCI. Several animal studies have demonstrated improvement in bladder function using mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) and neural stem cells (NSCs). Human clinical trials also provide promising results in urodynamic parameters after MSC therapy. However, there is still uncertainty about the ideal treatment window and application protocol for stem cell therapy. Besides, data on the therapeutic effects regarding NSCs and stem cell-derived exosomes in SCI-related NLUTD are scarce. Therefore, there is a pressing need for further well-designed human clinical trials to translate the stem cell therapy into a formal therapeutic option for SCI-induced NLUTD.
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