Stem cells have the unique ability to change into a variety of different cells in the body, and they've been used by doctors as an alternative treatment method to treat many diseases. Now we can include some severe degenerative conditions to that list.
"To treat the patients, doctors injected stem cells into their hearts."
Doctors in the United Arab Emirates recently used autologous mononuclear stem cells to treat two patients who had serious neurological diseases. They injected bone-marrow-derived plasma and mononuclear cells into their hearts, according to Khaleej Times. Post-procedure, patients only need to spend one to two days in the hospital to recover.
Dr. Norbert Dreier, oncology and hematology consultant at Burjeel Hospital in Abu Dhabi, told Khaleej Times that "results have been promising." He followed up to say, "There has been a slow but steady improvement in the condition of the patient and we have a happy family."
This type of procedure isn't standard yet but Dr. Dreier noted that when options are limited, sometimes the best method of treatment is to try anything available – including nonconventional means.
Dr. Tahar Benhidjeb, general surgery consultant, chairman of surgery and deputy medical director at Burjeel explained the basics of embryonic stem cells to the news source."Embryonic stem cells, for instance, are seen in the body during the earliest stages of development; tissue-specific stem cells are produced during fetal development and remain throughout life," he said.
In another study published in Neural Regeneration Research, researchers studying the effects of bone marrow mononuclear cells on amyotherophic lateral sclerosis found there was some improvement when they injected the cells in mice.
While many more studies of embryonic stem cells exist, this most recent research indicates that using stem cells to treat serious neurological diseases could be a viable treatment option for patients.