Medical Indications for the Use of Stem Cells
The future of medicine is exciting with the advent of gene therapy, application of nanotechnology to treat diseases, the use of robots, Stem cell treatment and much more, medicine is changing fast. One area where the science is advancing is in stem cell treatment, although still in its infancy, clinics and researchers in medical institution across the globe have begun to treat complex and difficult medical problems with stem cells.
How are Stem Cells Used in Medicine?
To answer this question we need to break down the main types of stem cells that exist and they are:
1.Embryonic stem cells
2.Adult stem cells
3.Induced Pluripotent stem cell
● Embryonic stem cells: These pluripotent stem cells are derived from the inner cell mass (ICM) of the blastocyst. Most embryonic stem cells are derived from embryos developed by in vitro fertilization (IVF) clinics, and are donated for research with the donor’s consent.
● Somatic (or “adult”) stem cells: Adult stem cells – including the mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) come principally from bone marrow, adipose tissue or umbilical cord, as well as other tissues. Stem cells are derived from the umbilical cord that’s donated at hospitals and transported directly to labs for production. This ensures a safe, reliable product that averts the ethical concerns associated with the use of embryonic stem cells.
There are over 122 Medical conditions that can potentially be treated by these type of cells, to list a few are
• Heart Disease
• most Autoimmune Disorders • Rheumatoid Arthritis
• Chronic joint pain
• Low back pain
• Bulging or Herniated Discs
• Spinal Cord Injuries
• Meniscus, ACL or MCL Tears •. .Peyronie’s Disease
• Athletic Injury
• Erectile Dysfunction
• Lung Disease (COPD, Asthma) •. .Diabetes Type II
• Parkinson’s Disease
• Alzheimer Disease
• Alcohol and Drug addiction
• ALS (Lou Gehrig’s Disease)
• Multiple Sclerosis
• Dermatological Conditions
• Reduces Post-Operative Inflammation • Accelerates Healing
● Induced Pluripotent stem cells: Also called iPS cells or iPSCs, these are adult cells that have been genetically reprogrammed in the lab to to an embryonic stem cell–like state. To date, iPSCs are principally used as tools for drug development and modeling of diseases.
When using stem cell therapy, new stem cells are introduced into the body, and their capability to differentiate – or turn into specialized cells – may allow them to repair diseased or injured tissues. They also proliferate, or renew themselves many times, which can provide an ongoing supply of healthy cells. Stem cells are “intelligent:” they can move through the body to where they are needed, and communicate with other cells.
Dr. Anteneh Roba