27 Feb How Can Stem Cells Be Used For So Many Ailments?
As stem cells have become more studied and more popular, the general population is beginning to ask more questions. We have all seen the headlines about stem cells being a miracle worker in the field of medicine. It is also common knowledge that stem cells can be used for a wide variety of ailments. But this begs the question, if stem cell therapy is so unique to each patient, how can it have such a wide range of applications? Understanding what stem cells are and how they work can give us all a better understanding of this phenomenon.
On a base level, stem cells are undifferentiated cells that naturally exist in the human body. These cells are abundant before birth and in the early stages of our lives. As we age, the number of stem cells that naturally occur in our bodies becomes less and less. Stem cells can be taken from donors or from our own bodies. When taken from our own bodies, they are typically harvested from bone marrow or fat tissue. Stem cells that are taken from our own body lessen the chance of rejection since they have the same markers as our own cells do.
So, why can stem cells be used to help people suffering from such a diverse range of ailments? It’s simple. These stem cells can turn into any kind of tissue the body needs to heal. For example, if a stem cell injection is given at the site of a muscle tear, the stem cells will differentiate into muscle tissue to help the tear heal. If a person is suffering from arthritis of the knee, and their cartilage has worn down, the stem cells will differentiate into cartilage, creating new padding for the knee joint.
Seeing how naturally stem cells differentiate into whatever the body needs have led to hypotheses that stem cell therapy may be able to benefit ailments beyond tissue damage. There are beliefs that stem cell therapy may help those suffering from autism, dementia, and even cancer in the future. While it is difficult to say how accurate this is because of the lack of research, if the theory holds that stem cells can differentiate into any kind of cell in the body, then there is a chance we may see even more applications for stem cells in the future.
While stem cell therapy has been around for a while, there are still a lot of unknowns. However, one thing is sure. While stem cell therapy must be uniquely designed for each patient in order to achieve optimal results, it can be used for virtually any ailment a patient faces. The number of injections needed may change, and the type of stem cells used may be different. However, whether your issue resides in your knee joint or in a muscle, stem cell therapy can make a difference. Consulting with physicians who specialize in stem cell therapy can help greatly improve your quality of life.