Stem cell therapy is the use of genetically engineered stem cells technology to treat or prevent an illness. Currently, embryonic stem cell transplantation is the only treatment for stem cells that are genetically engineered. This is usually done via an umbilical cord blood transplant however, stem cells can be derived from umbilical cord plasma. Because there are a number of concerns regarding stem cell therapies, it is often times recommended that you seek out the advice of a specialist genealogist before deciding on undergoing any stem cell treatment. Although some concerns have been expressed over the ethics of embryonic stem cell transplants, research has shown that these transplants have very little risk and many children have enjoyed the success of treating their genetic disorders using stem cells.
Scientists have discovered that some patients can be treated using stem cells and chemotherapy at the same time. The success of this procedure depends on the patient’s ability to handle the strain of the ongoing treatment. Researchers have succeeded in treating certain patients with only one transplant. Then, they gave the patient one dose of chemotherapy. With advancements in medical research, scientists have discovered that a person’s tolerance to stress can affect the efficacy of chemotherapy drugs they are taking. Because of this, researchers are currently testing additional chemotherapy drugs for combined use.
Scientists aren’t done stem cell transplants just yet. They are also researching different ways to utilize genetically engineered blood to treat chronic illnesses such as leukemia and multiple sclerosis. Stem cells are basically living tissue that has been’re-engineered’ to replace and repair damaged parts of the body. Utilizing the donor’s skin or bone marrow as a source can provide a greater supply of stem cells to the part of the body that requires it.
In addition to using stem cell transplants, researchers are testing other treatments using specially bred, specialized cells. One group is investigating the effects of radiation doses that are high on pregnant mice. The mice were not given radiation at all; instead, they were subjected to very high levels of radiation. The mice survived but only for a brief period of time. The mice may need months of treatment to heal due to the fact that these cells are not well absorbed by the body.
Scientists are also investigating the effectiveness of boosting the immune system by stem cell therapies. Interferon is one of the most popular immune system boosters. Interferon is used to treat different types of cancer, including those of the blood and lymph. Researchers believe that boosting the immune system can be effective in reducing side effects of some stem cell therapies.
Scientists are also studying the effect of diet in slowing down the aging process. They are looking at diets that have ingredients that help in the creation of healthy cells. They include antioxidants. When they are made by our bodies, these antioxidants can repair damage to tissue. Some of the substances that researchers are studying are phytosterols, lecithin and lipoic acid.
Of course, scientists haven’t completely come to understand the exact effects of stem cell transplants. Researchers have discovered that transplants are done at a lower rate than what is needed to treat serious heart conditions. Scientists can get an idea of the overall positive effects for the patient should they be able to develop a combination of exercise, diet, and transplant that can result in a more youthful and healthier heart. Stem cell transplants are a very strong treatment option as it gives patients an opportunity to live afresh.
Other researchers are researching methods that are less radical and employing techniques similar to therapeutic cloning. This is an instance in which there is no human contact between the donor and the recipient. Cloning is carried out with DNA from other people and the nucleus from these cells is inserted into the host’s egg. If it is successful, this method could allow researchers to generate the cells required to provide an alternative source of fuel for the immune system.
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