What Is Stem Cell Therapy?
With the efforts of scientists and researchers worldwide, stem cells are slowly moving from clinical research to therapeutic approach. Millions of people have been benefitted by the application of stem cell therapy to treat various medical conditions for kids and adults. This new branch of medicine has shown promising results over the years and evolves every day.
Stem Cells – Basis of Human Life
When life is formed from an egg and a sperm, the zygote divides into multiple precursor cells which give rise to stem cells. These cells further divide and form more stem cells. They have the ability to differentiate and form specialized cells such as bone cells, muscle cells, brain cells, skin cells, and blood cells etc., which in turn develop organs, blood, muscles, tissue and skin. Stem cells have the ability to renew new body cells and repair the damaged cells in the body. Due to this property, they are used in therapy to treat various medical disorders.
Applications of Stem Cell Therapy
In the last 50 years, stem cells were used in various research studies and scientists have explored the therapeutic benefits of these cells. Stem cell therapy is still an evolving field of medicine and hence there aren’t many studies supporting their application in therapy. However, through various clinical trials, the efficiency of stem cell therapy has been proved to be positive.
Currently, there are many stem cell therapies that have been considered safe and effective for humans. Stem cell therapy has been used to treat leukemia and lymphoma along with chemotherapy for renewal of new healthy blood cells in the patients. This therapy is also used for the treatment of other blood disorders like Thalassemia and sickle cell anaemia. In India, kids are treated with umbilical cord stem cells for Thalassemia cure and the treatment was found to be successful in most cases.
Umbilical cord blood stem cells and bone marrow stem cells are also used to avoid graft versus host disease during transplants. Stem cell transplants are approved to treat immunological conditions too. In 2014, stem cell therapy was approved for the regrowth of cornea (Holoclar) in patients with affected corneal cells by the European Union.
Stem Cell Therapy in Research
At times, patients are also treated under clinical trials using stem cell therapy which gave a new lease on life for the participants. Currently, there are various stem cell clinical trials going on for medical conditions such as Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, Cerebral Palsy, traumatic brain and spinal cord injury, congenital heart diseases, vision impairment, diabetes, regenerative medicine, infertility etc.
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