17 Jul Stem Cell 101
Stem Cells have become a popular buzzword in science over the last decade. They went from being very little understood to being a heavily researched part of the scientific world. While there is still plenty left to learn about stem cells, and new uses for stem cells are being discovered every day, scientists and physicians have a much better understanding of stem cells today than ever before. This understanding has allowed stem cells to provide revolutionary alternatives to current treatment methods that are both safer and more effective for the patient.
In order to use stem cells to help patients, the basics must be understood by the treating physician. On a base level, stem cells are the building blocks of humans. They are undifferentiated cells that can develop into any kind of cell type in the body. This means they can turn into skin cells, muscle cells, brain cells, you name it! This ability to differentiate into a variety of different types of cells is what makes stem cells so promising. If you are suffering from an injury or disease that is caused by damaged tissue, stem cells can come in and differentiate into the exact kind of cells your body needs to heal.
There are a variety of different types of stem cells that exist, and not all stem cells are created equally. One type of sought after stem cells are cord stem cells. These cells come from the umbilical cord after the birth of a baby. When a baby is born, stem cells from the umbilical cord are taken and stored for later use. These cells are particularly helpful in treating various blood diseases such as leukemia.
In addition to cord blood cells, amniotic stem cells, mesenchymal stem cells, and bone marrow stem cells also exist. Amniotic stem cells come from amniotic tissue and are uniquely beneficial for those suffering from tendon problems. This can include anything from plantar fasciitis to ACL tears. Mesenchymal stem cells are helpful for those patients suffering from bone or cartilage problems and are a great help for skeletal tissue repairs. Bone marrow stem cells are used to help those suffering from various types of cancer, tuberculosis, and other diseases. While bone marrow stem cells are still used umbilical cord stem cells have been shown to be more effective than those derived from bone marrow.
Stem cell therapy is becoming a popular treatment option for a variety of different ailments. Whether a patient is suffering from cancer or a torn ACL, stem cell therapy may be a viable treatment option. One of the biggest benefits of stem cell therapy is its extremely low risk. Many patients who are suffering from big problems may forego treatment altogether because the risks and side effects are just not worth it. Fortunately, stem cell therapy offers an alternative form of treatment, without the same risks and side effects that are present in surgery and medications. Stem cell therapy is also extremely effective when performed by a knowledgeable physician.