Not only have over a million patients been treated with stem cells, but most of these cases also resulted in success and improved health.
More research needs to be done on stem cells. But the stem cell industry is evolving and new therapies are released every year.
Stem cells are special cells in our body. They develop into many different cells, such as brain cells and muscle cells. In some cases, they can repair damaged tissue. This is why stem cells can treat many different ailments.
If you want to know more about stem cell therapy, here are fascinating treatments you should know about.
Multiple sclerosis, or MS, is a condition where immune cells attack a protective layer of fat called myelin. Myelin is located in the central nervous system which protects the brain, optic nerves, and spinal cord.
Symptoms vary between patients. Symptoms include pain, fatigue, difficulty walking, blurred vision, memory problems, muscle stiffness, and common brain functioning issues such as solving problems.
There is no cure for MS. But more research and technology is helping MS patients live comfortably with this ailment. Stem cell treatment is one of the options available to MS patients.
Stem cells can renew into new cells. While stem cell treatment for MS is still developing, there is progress.
There are a few treatments.
One to prevent nerve cells from attacking myelin. One to repair lost or injured nervous tissue.
And one treatment of multiple sclerosis to inject patients with umbilical cord mesenchymal stem cells to improve neurological scores and decrease lesions in the spinal cord and brain.
Eye Tissue Regeneration
In 2015, a stem cell study resulted in finding stem cells that reduce blindness. Stem cells can repair the eye tissue degeneration that occurs in disorders such as macular degeneration.
Eye tissue regeneration works for two reasons: the eye is an easy place to access and eye tissue is immune-privileged, which means it won’t reject the stem cells.
The FDA doesn’t approve of stem cell treatment for any eye ailments. But the research has been promising, specifically in Italy.
Italian scientist Graziella Pellegrini has been studying stem cell treatment for 25 years with an emphasis on eye therapy.
She and her team found that they can replace damaged corneal cells with stem cells, a treatment called Holocar Treatment.
They removed healthy cornea cells from the damaged eye of a burn victim.
They then cultivate the corneal cells from modified human fibrin protein. After they cultivate 3,000 corneal cells, they transplant the cells and the fibrin support into the patient’s eye.
The transplant was found to develop new and healthy corneal cells. Holocar Treatment is now a commercial product in Italy.
Heart Tissue Regeneration
One of the most amazing stem cell discoveries is stem cell therapy treating damaged heart tissue. Heart tissue scarring is common after a heart attack or other ailment. This means a section of the heart is no longer functioning.
In 2012, researchers at Cedar-Sinai Medical Center and John Hopkins performed stem cell transplants on animal subjects and found the stem cells help repair damaged heart tissue. This led to human research.
Stem cells were extracted from a patient’s heart. The patient previously experienced a heart attack.
The researchers grew and treated the stem cells, and implanted them back into the patient’s heart. The treatment resulted in less scarring, heart tissue regrowth, and functionality was returning to the damaged area.
Skin Tissue Regeneration
Skin tissue regeneration isn’t fully understood but is showing more progress. In short, this is the act of generating new skin tissue and grafting it onto a patient’s body, resulting in the treatment of a myriad of skin issues.
Skin tissue stem cell therapy received a breakthrough in 2017. Michele de Luca and his team of Italian researchers treated a seven-year-old German boy who has junctional epidermolysis bullosa, or JEB. He lost 80% of his skin.
These patients carry a mutation in the gene laminin-332, causing skin cells to function abnormally.
To treat the child, they removed a portion of the skin. They isolated epidermal skin cells from his skin tissue. They further modified those skin cells by introducing a virus containing laminin-332 without the mutation.
The team grew the stem cells into sheets and grafted the sheets onto the boy’s body. The stem cells started repairing the boy’s body.
Cord Blood Therapy
After childbirth, there’s blood in the umbilical cord and placenta. That blood is called cord blood which contains a vast amount of stem cells.
These stem cells are restricted, but they can transform into immune and blood cells. They’re also immune tolerant, increasing the chance your body will reject the cells.
Research is in progress on these cells, specifically when treating diabetes and different blood cancers.
While the full benefits of cord blood are unknown, it can treat a variety of different hematological issues.
Cord blood is used in clinics around the country to treat anemia and even lymphoma and leukemia. There are eight FDA-approved cord blood products.
You can freeze your cord blood after childbirth, but it’s expensive and it’s unlikely you’ll use it. But certain treatments don’t require a patient to use their own cord blood.
Bone Marrow Stem Cell Treatment
Bone marrow transplants aren’t new. Bone marrow transplants are commonly used for certain cancers, such as leukemia and lymphoma.
The patient will extract their bone marrow out before chemo. After chemo, the bone marrow will be transplanted back in the body, repopulating the body with fresh immune and blood cells.
Our bone marrow contains lots of stem cells, such as CD34 and hematopoietic stem cells, and they can be used for different treatments. They can develop into white and red blood cells as well as platelets.
Certain bone marrows contain mesenchymal stem cells, or MSCs. These stem cells are rare. But if your bone marrow contains them, they can develop into bone cells, fat cells, and connective tissue.
Bone marrow stem cell treatments aren’t recommended by the FDA, even though they show promise and have been used for decades.
Will You Try Stem Cell Therapy?
There’s a lot of rumors about stem cell therapy and the U.S. isn’t approving many stem cell treatments.
However, there are promising stem cell treatments that are proven to heal many ailments. In addition, these treatments are approved in other countries such as Italy.
Will you try stem cell therapy? It’s worth a shot!