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List Of Experimental Stem Cell Treatments
WHAT ARE STEM CELLS?
Most people have heard of stem cells or stem cell treatments and understand they are said to be the ultimate breakthrough to help human beings heal but many do not fully understand what a stem cell is. Stem cells in simple terms are master cells that are responsible for creating the building block of the types of cells for tissue. You have stem cells in your heart, liver, kidneys, lungs, etc each organs stem cells are responsible for the correct cell type being created in each organ.
WHAT CAN WE DO WITH STEM CELLS?
When we have enough stem cells and they are implanted in these organs they can regenerate these organs and seemly heal what can't be healed with conventional medicine. Because they stem cells used are usually that persons own cells there is no chance of rejection. Below are a list of treatments and how they work.
Although only theoretical at this point stem cells should be able to be used to halt, reverse and possibly cure both Parkinson's and Alzheimer's disease. The introduction of stem cells into brain matter would encourage the creation of healthy brain cells and thus regenerate the brain.
Many believe the cure to cancer lies with stem cell treatment. The problem with cancerous cells is that they come from stem cells that are cancerous. Cancerous stem cells continuously create cancerous cells and they only way to stop the cancer is to destroy the stem cells responsible.
The biggest problem with this is that with conventional cancer treatments (chemotherapy) all cells are being killed in hopes of destroying cancerous cells which can work sometimes. The second problem is that even if we can isolate just the cancerous stem cells and destroy them there is a chance that we may kill so many stem cells that the tissue will breakdown as the stem cells that encourage growth of that tissue may be mostly gone.
But there is hope. Recently scientists injected stem cells into rats with tumors and over a short period the tumors were reduced to 81% of their original size. They key to eradicating cancer is two step. 1) Isolate and destroy cancerous stem cells that give rise to cancer. 2) At the same time replace stem cells of that tissue with healthy stem cell injections.
INCREDIBLE STEM CELL BREAKTHROUGHS
The following is a timeline of sucessful stem cell therapies already being put into practice:
2003 - Scientists in South Korea injected stem cells into the damaged spinal cord of patient who had not been able to stand for 19 years. After a short period of therapy the patient was able to walk on her own. In this case stem cells were taken from umbilical cord blood.
2004 - Scientists used stem cell therapy to regrow complete teeth in mice. The same process will work in a human patient.
2005 - Scientists injected neural stem cells into completely paralyzed mice four months later they were moving around by themselves. The damage to sinal cord and brain had been completely repaired.
2005 - Scientists used stem cell therapy to regrow cochlea hair cells and thus regenerated the hearing on a person. This process could restore the hearing of a completely deaf individual.
2005 - Scientists in England were able to implant corneal stem cells into 40 blind patients, all of their vision was restored.
2007 - As of that year stem cell treatments are available around the world that can regenerate the heart muscle, completely repair wounds to the heart, cause new blood vessels to be formed within the body, and repair damaged blood vessels.
The basics of stem cell treatment is that throughout the body stem cells may be introduced in a location that is damaged, diseased or otherwise run down. Stem cells cause healing, regeneration and regrowth. It may mean the difference in the future between having a heart/liver/pancreas/kidney transplant or simply an injection that will regenerate the organ. The future in this respect is one of the few that I think we as humans have to look forward to and it should be pursued for the benefit of mankind.