Imagine being able to cure illnesses – everything from blindness to diabetes to cancer – by taking cells from your body and transforming them into other types of cells. All over the world, scientists are hard at work conducting clinical trials using the power of stem cells; and doctors are using them as part of their non-invasive regenerative medical therapy. Understanding how stem cells work and being able to use them can help us unlock breakthroughs in medicine. This is an exciting time, and stem cells are the key to the future of medicine.
All about stem cells
To better understand how stem cells are changing and improving the future of medicine, it’s important to understand what they are and how they work. Stem cells are undifferentiated cells that have the ability to transform into specialized cells such as lung, liver, heart, neurons, skin, etc. Stem cells also have the unique ability to divide and produce even more stem cells. You can think of stem cells as an organic repair shop within your body. If you get injured, your body calls upon its stem cells to travel to the site of injury or inflammation to repair it and bring it back to normal functionality.
Restoring and rejuvenating stem cells
Stem cells are abundant in children and young adults; however, as we get older, our stem cell supply lessens. Also, as we get older, our stem cells often undergo genetic mutations that reduce their quality and effectiveness at repairing our bodies. Until recently, we just had to live with the fact that our stem cells become less effective as we get older. We no longer have to accept the fact that our stem cells become compromised as we get older. Doctors now can restore and rejuvenate our stem cells, changing the game of medicine for the better. One way this is done is by extracting and concentrating your own autologous adult stem cells from other areas of your body such as fat tissue. Another alternative is to obtain stem cells from the umbilical cord or placenta after birth. These stem cells are in large supply and are pristine since they came from a newborn.
What do they do with these renewed stem cells?
Once your doctor has access to stem cells, they can be injected into joints or administered intravenously into your body. These injections can help fight autoimmune disease, repair joints, reduce inflammation, increase muscle mass, grow hair, and rejuvenate the skin. The possibilities are endless and are being researched and administered every day.
What does the future hold for stem cells and medicine?
Stem cell research has grown tremendously over the last ten years. There is a growing demand to find remedies and cures for injuries, illnesses, and chronic diseases using stem cells. There are new and exciting methods of using stem cells that you should watch out for, including:
- Tissue engineering, which uses your body’s own stem cells to repair and replace diseased tissue. If a patient has a disease, the diseased tissues and organs can be replaced with healthy ones.
- Stem cell banking. When babies are first born, their system has not yet been exposed to harmful elements; the stem cells are fresh and uncorrupted. Stem cell banking allows doctors to take after-birth materials, such as the placenta and the umbilical cord, replicate them, and then freeze and store them for future use. Infusing your own cord blood stem cells as you age may be the answer to a longer and healthier life
- Parabiosis is being researched as a method of reversing the symptoms of aging throughout a person’s entire major organ system. In this research, healthy participants over the age of 35 receive a blood plasma transfusion from donors 25 years and under.
Each day, new research emerges showing the remarkable benefits of stem cells. In Japan, they have discovered a way to grow new human eyes using stem cells. Researchers at Stanford University are using stem cell injections to help stroke victims walk again. This could pave the way for other diseases such as Parkinson’s, Lou Gehrig’s, and Alzheimer’s disease. Doctors at the University of Southern College have used stem cells to help a paralyzed woman regain use of her arms. The possibilities of stem cell usage to repair and heal our bodies are very promising. Stem cells are about to change medicine forever.
Systemic Laboratories, a state-of-the-art, FDA-registered tissue processing laboratory in Great Neck, NY, invites you to learn more about how their services can enhance and support your medical practice by offering stem cell tissue processing in a compliant and controlled environment. The knowledgeable and friendly staff at Systemic Laboratories looks forward to serving you. For questions about our stem cell services or if you’d like to schedule an appointment, please call our office at (718) 268-6060.