Possible Future Uses Of Cord Blood
ght now cord blood is used to help replace the healthy blood that radiation and/or chemotherapy destroyed while trying to treat the disease. Researchers are working endlessly with cord blood stem cells in an effort to research new ways to use cord blood to help cure and treat other serious diseases. Hopefully in the near future we will have cures for the following illnesses.
Parkinson’s Disease (PD) – is a chronic, progressive neurodegenerative movement disorder. It is characterized by tremors, rigidity, slow movement, poor balance, and difficult walking. The brain stops making dopamine which controls the neurotransmitters which regulate movement. Researches hope to have stem cells replicate and become dopamine producing neurons and therefore wiping PD out. It is thought that PD may be the first disease to be amenable to treatment using stem cell transplantation. Diabetes – is caused by the pancreas not producing any insulin or not enough insulin to regulate blood sugars. Researchers are trying to find a way to have stem cells rejuvenate the pancreas and enable it to start producing efficient amounts of natural insulin.- Type 1 (commonly known as juvenile diabetes) – is believed to be an autoimmune disease. The body’s immune system attacks the cells in the pancreas that produces insulin. Your body stops producing insulin, causing you to be manufactured insulin dependent in most cases. This type is usually diagnosed in childhood or early adolescence and usually coincides with an illness or injury of some kind.- Type 2 (commonly referred to as adult onset diabetes) – is thought to have a genetic link and tends to run in families. Some risk factors for developing this diabetes type are: high blood pressure, high blood fat levels, gestational diabetes (becoming a diabetic while pregnant), high-fat diet, sedentary lifestyle, obesity, and aging.
Alzheimer’s Disease – is a progressive and fatal brain disease. Alzheimer’s destroys brain cells, causing severe problems with memory, thinking, and behavior. This disease severely affects a person’s work, hobbies, and social life. It gets worse over time and is fatal. Alzheimer’s is the seventh-leading cause of death in the United States. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if researchers could find away to make stem cells revitalize the brain making this deadly disease non existent? Researchers are still examining cord blood stem cells and perfecting on how to use these cells for treatments. It is hoped as well as expected that in the future cord blood will be used to treat the diseases listed as well as breast cancer, heart disease, liver disease, muscular dystrophy, spinal cord injuries, as well as stroke.
Definition of regenerative medicine: Cord blood stem cells are currently being evaluated and showing promise for use in regenerative medicine. Regenerative medicine is a rapidly developing field of medicine and research focused on developing treatments which can repair, replace or regenerative damaged or diseased cells, tissues and organs.
Current regenerative medicine studies: Human studies evaluating cord blood stem cell therapies for type 1 diabetes, cerebral palsy, and brain injury are underway. Additional conditions currently being studied in preclinical animal research include: heart disease, stroke, Parkinson’s disease, spinal cord injury, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, muscular dystrophy and liver disease.
Likelihood of benefiting from regenerative medicine: Current estimates indicate that 1 in 3 Americans could benefit from regenerative medicine.
Types of cells used in regenerative medicine: For use in regenerative therapies, current science suggests that access to autologous (one’s own) stem cells offers better treatment options for patients. The only way to guarantee access to one’s own cord blood stem cells is to store them in a family (private) bank.
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