What Are The Benefits Of Stem Cell Therapy?
Stem cells are human cells that can develop into a variety of different cell types and that can also fix damaged tissues. In essence, they are the building blocks of your entire body. As the embryo develops, the stem cells turn into heart cells, brain cells, lung cells, liver cells, etc, etc. Stem cell therapy uses these stem cells to help treat diseases. The most widely used stem cell treatment takes stem cells from the blood marrow to aid in the treatment of cancers such as leukemia. More and more research is being done, however, into all of the other diseases and conditions that stem cells could help to treat.
There are two types of stem cells: embryonic and adult stem cells. Embryonic stem cells are pluripotent, meaning that they can develop into any type of cell. It used to be thought that adult stem cells didn't have this ability, but recent research has shown that they are actually more versatile than was originally thought. Adult stem cells can also be artificially made pluripotent in labs.
As well as creating new tissue cells, stem cells can also stimulate surrounding cells by releasing growth factors, which increases the number of healthy cells created and marks damaged cells for removal.
What are the benefits of stem cell therapy?
Stem cell therapy can help to treat a variety of conditions and diseases, with more potential treatments being developed all the time.
1) Heart disease
Stem cell therapy can generate new heart muscle cells and stimulate the growth of new blood vessels. It can also stimulate the surrounding heart tissue through the release of growth factors, which can help to repair damaged tissue.
2) Neurodegenerative disorders
Stem cell therapy can help to treat disorders such as Parkinson's disease, Alzheimer's disease, and multiple sclerosis.
Through the generation of new beta cells in the pancreas, which produce insulin, stem cell therapy can help to treat diabetes.
4) Brain and spinal cord injury
Traumatic brain injuries, strokes, and spinal cord injuries result in irreversible cell death. Stem cell therapy can help to treat these by growing new cells.
5) Wound healing
Stem cell therapy can help with wound healing by creating new tissue that is the same as the surrounding tissue, including collagen production and the stimulation of hair development. This means that scar tissue can be replaced by new healthy tissue.
Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) can help to treat orthopedic problems such as bone and muscle injury, rotator cuff surgery, osteoarthritis, and cartilage and ligament repair.
7) Autoimmune diseases
Autoimmune diseases are those where your body erroneously attacks healthy cells, thinking that they are an infection. These can include diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis and lupus. Stem cell therapy can help to generate healthy cells to replace those that were lost.
Stem cell therapy has huge potential in changing the landscape of medicine and the treatment of a huge variety of diseases and conditions. The research is still ongoing on the applications of stem cell therapy and more applications are being discovered regularly.