What are stem cells?
Our body is blessed with a variety of cells, stem cells are the one which provides new cells for the body as it grows. Stem cells are the superheroes of the human body which have the unique ability to develop into different cell types. Along with that, stem cells can divide over and over again to produce new cells and change into other types of cells from muscle cells to brain cells.
And that's not all, they also can repair damaged tissues. Under the right conditions in the body or a laboratory, daughter cells result from the division of a single parent cell. Daughter cells serve the body in two ways, either it takes the form of new stem cells or specialized cells.
Every single individual is born different, some humans have healthy bodies whereas others remain unhealthy throughout their lives. There are cases of people being born with neuromuscular disorders or get affected by degenerative disorder over time. Stem Cell Therapy (SCT) is a cure/treatment for a good number of disorders which vary from being non-serious to life-threatening. With the use of special stem cells, over 80 disorders including degenerative and neuromuscular can be treated.
Stem cells are widely counted upon by doctors and researchers due to their ability and potential to regenerate, repair and treat diseases. Bone marrow transplantation is the most common and familiar form of stem therapy in use. The therapy helps in curing the cancer present in blood cells or any other disorders related to blood and bones. One thing to be kept in mind about stem cell therapy is that it is not an easy process. The doctor has to consider a lot of factors such as choosing the right stem cells, matching with the recipient and appropriate delivery of stem cells to the desired location in the body. Further, doctors are trying to research to understand the different uses of stem cells to cure different diseases and disorders.
There are mainly three types of stem cells:
- Embryonic stem cells. These stem cells are considered pluripotent, which means they can change into any cell in the body. These cells supply new cells for embryos that are 3-5 days old. A major highlight of these cells is that they can be used to repair diseased tissue and organs.
- Adult stem cells. These cells are considered multipotent which means they can only change into a few cells in the body such as skin stem cells, blood stem cells. Adult stem cells are found in most adult tissues and are efficient enough to replace cells that get damaged.
- Induced pluripotent stem cells. These are the cells that doctors make in the laboratory and are adult cells taken to reprogram into stem cells. iPS cells are pluripotent, which means they can change into any cell in the body.
Stem cells in therapy
Stem cells in therapy can be one way of generating new cells and helping the damaged cells, tissues or organs heal. It can also be a great way to regenerative medicine. Doctors and researchers believe that stem cells in therapy can cure diseases that have been left untreated for a long time. In some tissues, stem cells play an important role by switching the damaged cells with new cells.
A good example of stem cells in therapy is where a person's heart with damaged tissues. The doctors may diagnose the issue and transplant healthy tissue in the person's heart. There are good no. of chances that the stimulation may lead the heart tissue to renew itself. The research showed that a 40% reduction in the size of the damaged heart tissue with the replacement procedure. However, there can be cases in which the heart tissue doest heal. The doctors have been carrying out various tests as to come to one conclusion and to understand if stem cells are the next big thing leading towards a cure for many diseases.
Stem cells from unconventional sources
In the present time, stem cell therapy is proffering promising results all because of its great potential and unique abilities. The procedure is inexpensive, safe and speedy in comparison to the conventional therapies. A lot of development has lead to surprising growth, a clear indication of which are the successful stem cell treatments. Stem cell therapy is taking the current medical science with a storm and the future ascertains great hopes for curing various diseases.
Stem Cells Therapy in India
Stem cell therapy has been doing wonders for the treatment of diseases. With every passing day, there is a certain increase in research work as to how stem cell therapy can help patients combat acute and chronic diseases. Which is why it is not wrong to believe that India and the world could move a step towards replacing the ineffective, expensive and protracted therapies with stem cell therapy.
What is stem cell therapy (regenerative medicine) and how does it work?
Also known as regenerative medicine, stem cell therapy is the use of stem cells to repair the dysfunctional, diseased or injured tissue. It is considered the next big step in the field of medicine where cells are used in place of donor organs, which is great progress. Additionally, stem cell therapy is the future in treating chronic and acute diseases compared to the previous /present painstaking therapies.
The main aim of using stem cells is that they provide new cells to the body along with replacing the specialized damaged cells. Researchers grow stem cells in a lab and they are influenced in a way to specialize in specific types of cells. Thereafter, the stem cells can be implanted into a person to repair the disease he/she has been suffering from. For example, a person with heart disease will be injected with heart muscle cells to repair the defect.
Have stem cells have already been used to treat diseases?
Bone marrow transplantation is one of the most common examples of stem cell therapy that is in common use. Along with that, research is underway to determine whether the use of stem cells can help in treating various types of cancer, blood-related diseases along with heart disease, spinal cord injury, Parkinson's disease, and diabetes. Few of these transplants use adult stem cells or umbilical cord blood.