Introduction To Stem Cell Therapy
Stem cells have been a buzzword for the past decade. Therapies using stem cells show a lot of promise and may provide doctors a way to manage conditions with very few treatment options. But many remain confused about what stem cells are, how they can be used in medicine, and how safe they are. Here is some information to introduce what stem cells are and how they could be used in medicine.
What Is Stem Cell Therapy?
Stem cells are the earliest cells from when an embryo is first formed. These cells are undifferentiated, meaning they haven't yet become a specific kind of cell, like a brain cell or a muscle cell. As the embryo develops, these stem cells specialize and become specific types of cells. Because of their ability to turn into any kind of cell, scientists believe they can be used to regenerate damaged tissue. The therapy would introduce stem cells to the damaged organs and then trigger the cells to differentiate into new, healthy tissue. This would repair the damage and restore normal function.
What Conditions Could Stem Cell Therapy Treat?
Because stem cells have the potential to become any kind of cell, therapies that use stem cells could theoretically cure a wide range of conditions. Many such conditions currently have few or limited treatment options. Stem cell therapies may have the ability to reverse organ damage or even replace lost tissues and organs.
These therapies offer hope for treating neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer's disease or Parkinson's because the stem cells could outright regrow the damaged or missing brain tissue. Autoimmune diseases, or conditions where the body's own immune response overreacts, could be treated as well. Diseases like arthritis could be managed by regenerating the damaged tissue with stem cells. There's even the possibility for these treatments to even manage, if not cure, HIV and AIDS. Stem cell therapy gives scientists hope for an entirely new approach to medicine.
What Is Stem Cell Therapy Currently Used for?
Right now, doctors use stem cell treatments for a variety of conditions. For example, doctors may use stem cell therapy as part of a treatment plan against cancer. But for all the promise stem cell treatments give, most of their benefits are largely theoretical. Research needs to be done to ensure these treatments are as safe and effective as they promise to me. The FDA warns anyone considering stem cell treatment to make sure the treatment and provider both have FDA approval.
While stem cells are a long way from a miracle cure, they remain one avenue of medical research that may transform healthcare entirely. If you're considering stem cell treatment, you'd be doing a favor not only for yourself but for the entire medical community.
To learn more, contact a resource that offers stem cell therapy.