Stem Cells Therapy
Stem cells are the master cells that form your all tissues and organs. You can see them as the raw materials of your body. Furthermore, stem cells therapy has become an important option for the treatment of many diseases today.
Your stem cells divide in the right conditions. Doctors call these resulting cells ‘daughter cells’. This process can occur in your body or the lab. Stem cells can develop into cells with different tasks. Also, they have the ability to divide and multiply forever. Your newly formed daughter cells can develop into new stem cells or cells with a certain function. For example, stem cells can become brain cells, heart muscle cells, blood cells, or bone cells.
By dividing, stem cells can transform into new stem cells as well as new organs and tissues. This amazing feature plays a role in the development and regeneration of all kinds of tissues and organs throughout your life. The process starts from the day you are an embryo. Also, as you grow as an organism, the transforming capacity of stem cells decreases. No other cell in your body is capable of producing new types of cells.
Stem Cell Types
There are several sources of stem cells with different potential functions.
Stem cells divide into 4 groups according to their sources:
Embryonic Stem Cells
These stem cells emerge from 3-5 day old embryos. They are capable of giving rise to several different cell types. These cells can develop into new stem cells or any cell type in your body. Thanks to this ability, doctors can regenerate or repair your tissues or organs.
Adult Stem Cells
If you are an adult, these stem cells exist in small numbers in all of your tissues. However, adult stem cells do not have the ability of embryonic cells. Also, they are more limited in function.
Additionally, these limits seem broader than before. Until recently, doctors thought that adult stem cells could only develop into cells of a similar type. Now, new findings show that adult stem cells can turn into different types of cells. This breakthrough may give a chance for treatment in many diseases.
Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells
Scientists form these cells by genetic reprogramming. They genetically modify adult stem cells and give them embryonic stem cell function. Moreover, they were able to prevent the immune system from rejecting new cells. However, these studies have not yet been conducted on humans. As a result, the effect on humans is still unknown.
Perinatal Stem Cells
Scientists discovered the presence of stem cells in the fluid of a developing fetus. Additionally, these stem cells can develop into specialized cells. However, more research is necessary on this subject.
Regenerative Medicine in Clinical Practices of Stem Cells
Doctors can use stem cells therapy to cure damaged or nonfunctioning tissues and organs. They still consider this type of treatment as experimental. Therefore, your or your relatives’ approval is necessary.
Stem cell therapy is effective in treatment for:
- Eye diseases
- Cartilage and degenerative joint diseases
- Ischemic limb problems
- Burn treatment
Brain and Nervous System Diseases
Scientists found that stem cells therapy is effective and safe for the following:
- Spinal cord injury
- Traumatic brain injury
- Cerebral palsy
- Autoimmune encephalitis
- Autism spectrum disorder
- Friedreich’s ataxia
- Hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy
Doctors saw very positive results with the cooperation of patients.
In patients with spinal cord injuries, doctors observed improvement in sensory and motor function with stem cells therapy. They found that the lost sensory functions in the bowel and bladder were regained. Moreover, patients were able to walk with support.
Additionally, doctors observed increased mobility and improved sensation and balance in extremities.
Stem cells therapy provides an increase in sitting and movement balance in patients with cerebral palsy. Also, the patients showed improvement in their ability to speak, understand and eat. Moreover, they were able to solve simple mathematical problems and socialize.
Orthopedics and Traumatology
Cartilage problems, tendon injuries, and joint problems also respond to stem cells therapy. Also, doctors can create cartilage tissue with cells from your own tissue. They can do this even where cartilage formation is almost over. As a result, doctors can achieve structural and functional regeneration.
Diabetes occurs as a result of a decrease in the number or function of your insulin-secreting cells. The disease causes your blood sugar to increase at dangerous levels. Scientists are hopeful for the effective treatment of diabetes with stem cells therapy. In their experiments on mice, they observed that they were able to prevent hyperglycemia with stem cell transplantation. Also, they found that the stem cells were transformed into cells that produce insulin.
There is no cure for certain eye diseases. Such as, retinitis pigmentosa and age-related macular degeneration. However, scientists managed to regain the visual function on mice with stem cell therapy. Only, they did not conduct this treatment on humans yet.
Stem cells therapy offers cosmetic improvements in areas such as wounds, burns, scars, and anti-aging. With the cells from your own tissue, your doctor may rejuvenate your skin. Also, they can correct any deformed areas with a more natural look.
If you have a chronic disease such as COPD, or cystic fibrosis, stem cells therapy may be the answer you are looking for. Stem cells therapy can heal the damaged areas in your lung. Also, it can enable your tissues to heal a lot quicker. Stem cells therapy reduces inflammation in your lungs and prevents infection.
Stem cells therapy is a reliable and cheaper treatment method. It is a suitable treatment for many health problems. This is a very promising treatment in the field of medicine. The recovery of lost functions and complications is now possible.
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