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What Are Stem Cells Used For?

19-Nov-2018

Stem cells, also known as “blank cells” are cells that have the capability of morphing into cells that serve the different functions necessary for the human body.

This makes them highly useful for the following according to the Mayo Clinic:

  • Creating and growing new cells in a lab to replace damaged organs and tissues
  • Remedying parts of faulty organs and restoring them back to optimal working condition
  • Researching causes of genetic defects in cells
  • Researching why cancer cells develop
  • Testing new drugs safely and effectively2

Let’s now have a look more closely at how stem cells are used in medicine.

Tissue Regeneration

Stem cells are vital in the field of tissue regeneration as scientists have put numerous efforts into trying to morph these “blank” cells in a manner that would allow them to grow specific tissue types or organs from the comfort of their laboratories.3 This implies that patients waiting for an organ to be donated may not have to rely on organ donors in order to receive a new organ as one may be grown in a lab. Examples of this can found in burn victims where doctors have used stem cells to grow new skin tissue and grafting this tissue onto the damaged skin.5

Brain Related Diseases

There is currently a race against time in trying to find treatments for brain related diseases like Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s – for example, scientists and researchers alike are trying to use stem cells to replace damaged brain cells that lead to uncontrollable muscle movements in Parkinson’s disease.6

Blood Related Diseases

Blood related diseases like leukemia, sickle cell anemia and other immunodeficiency issues are now being treated using adult hematopoietic stem cells, which are found in our blood and bone marrow. 7 These stem cells are able to produce all kinds of blood cell types including red blood cells that carry oxygen and white blood cells that help fight disease. 8

Cell-based therapies

Researchers and scientists are currently studying various methods of guiding the differentiating of embryonic stem cells in order to treat certain diseases.9 If, for example, scientists could guide embryonic stem cells to morphing into insulin-producing cells, treatments for individuals with type-1 diabetes could be introduced; and other medical issues such as retinal disease, hearing loss, spinal cord injuries and heart disease could also be treated and/or cured.

In conclusion, stem cells can be revolutionary when it comes to finding cures and treatments for various medical conditions, which is why a lot of time, effort and money has been put into this field of medical research. Doctors and individuals worldwide have benefited from stem research as it had helped to advance medicine and improve lives.

If you are interested in finding out more information about stem cell treatment in the Czech Republic, visit Medical Travel Czech's website.
 

1 Cafasso, Jacquelyn, reviewed by the University of Illinois-Chicago, College of Medicine, ‘Stem Cell Research’, in healthline.com, reviewed April 6th, 2016, viewed on January 27th, 2019, https://www.healthline.com/health/stem-cell-research
2 ibid
3 Brazier, Yvette, reviewed by Murrell, Daniel, MD, ‘What are Stem Cells and What Do They Do?’, in Medical News Today, last reviewed Monday, October 15th, 2018, viewed on January 27th, 2019, https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/323343.php
4 ibid
5 ibid
6 ibid
7 ibid
8 ibid
9 Cafasso, Jacquelyn, reviewed by the University of Illinois-Chicago, College of Medicine, ‘Stem Cell Research’, in healthline.com, reviewed April 6th, 2016, viewed on January 27th, 2019, https://www.healthline.com/health/stem-cell-research



 

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