Have you thought about undergoing stem cell therapy to treat a serious disease or injury? Here are three things you need to know about stem cell treatments:
"Stem cells can develop into different cells, and restore themselves for a long time."
1. What are stem cells?
Stem cell usage has grown over the last few decades, and scientists today are studying its effects on a number of serious conditions. Doing so is helping them gain a greater understanding of these ailments.
What makes stem cells unique? As the National Institutes of Health explain, these cells don't have any single specific function. They can effectively transform into different cells, and – in a stark contrast to many other cell types – can restore themselves over long periods of time.
2. Are all stem cells the same?
Simply put, no. Many people use the phrase "stem cells" generically, but the body houses two different kinds of these cells.
Embryonic stem cells are extracted from the blastocyst – a mass of cells that forms almost immediately after an egg is fertilized in vitro. They're special because scientists can encourage them to develop into any type of cell in a person's body. Adult stem cells, meanwhile, can only transform into certain cell types and their ability to expand and replicate is limited.
3. How are stem cells commonly used?
Scientists are studying a wide variety of possible uses for stem cells. Currently, according to the EU-based research organization EuroStemCell, doctors can use blood-derived stem cells to treat a variety of blood and immune system problems. Additionally, Be The Match notes that bone marrow or cord blood transplants could treat certain varieties of leukemia and lymphoma, fanconi anemia, pure red cell aplasia and paroxysmal nocturnal hemoglobinuria, to name a few.
If properly funded and supported, stem cell therapy will continue to advance. For more information about stem cell therapy, contact Longevity & Stem Cell Centre of Houston today.