Stem cells have a potential to differentiate in any cell. They can be harvested from bone marrow, adipose tissue or from the blood. Also stem cells can be taken out of the umbilical cord after birth.
The current stem cell treatment is using stem cells to treat cancers like leukemia and lymphoma, because during chemotherapy most cells that are dividing are killed. Stem cells are used to replenish the bone marrow that has been damaged by cytotoxic agents that cannot discriminate between normal cells and the cancerous cells.
Studies being made show there are potential Stem Cells Treatment that can bring a great deal of help in treating some of the most debilitating diseases. Stem cells will be used to treat brain degeneration diseases like Parkinson's and Alzheimer's disease. Studies on animals have proved stem cells have acapacity to repair neuronal functions, making this a great help for patients with stroke or spinal cord injury.
Studies on mice have proved that stem cells injected into mice with intracranial tumors have migrated to the cancerous area and produces and enzyme that converts a non-toxic drug into a chemotherapeutic agent, thus being able to reduce the tumor mass considerably. Some people consider that stem cells hold the key to inhibiting the proliferation of cancer stem cells while current practices are designed to kill the cells.
Stem cell treatment also includes using autologous bone marrow cells to treat heart disease like strokes (myocardial infarction). Adult stem cell therapy has already been used clinically to treat heart damage. Stem cells help the regeneration of the heart muscle by secreting growth factors, stimulating the growth of new blood vessels and muscle cells. Scientists think that it may be possible to make adult bone marrow cells to differentiate into heart muscle cells.
Hair growth can be improved through stem cell therapy. The treatment might work by activating the already existent stem cells of the scalp or it might work by giving triggeringthe stem cells and making them give off chemical signals to the nearby follicles to stimulate them. The stem cell therapy will be used in dentistry to cultivated missing teeth. This has been already done on mice teeth and researchers are confident that in the near future this technique will be used to grow live teeth in patients by making the stem cells differentiate into a tooth bud, which will be transplanted in the gums, then it will grow and fuse with the bone like a normal tooth.
Deafness has also potential to be cured by stem cells treatment because studies have shown success in growing parts of the hearing apparatus with the use of embryonic stem cells. Blindness and vision impairment are already on the road to cure because researchers have already successfully transplanted corneal stem cells into damaged eyes of humans and restored vision. However further trials are necessary.
Stem cells can also help with diabetes. They can have the capacity to replenish the function lost by the insulin-producing beta cells within the pancreas. However to this day clinical trial are quite difficult to develop because of the procedures involved. The transplanted stem cells must proliferate, differentiate, survive and prevent transplant rejection; they must integrate in the targeted tissues and the host circuitry and restore function, which is a difficult process to control in the laboratory.
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