area it is located (“Stem Cell Basics”). The use of stem cells can be useful in understanding and even curing many diseases. Doctors and researchers may be able to better understand how diseases and conditions develop by watching the way stem cells grow into different types of cells (Mayo Clinic). With stem cell research, there’s no limit to the types of diseases that could be treated. When researchers are able to study all cell types, they can potentially make breakthroughs in any disease. As of now, one possible way stem cells can be used to treat disease is through a stem cell transplant. In a stem cell transplant, embryonic cells are specialized into the desired adult cell type, then those mature cells replace the damaged tissue. This application of stem cells can be used to replace neurons that have been damaged by spinal cord injury, Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, or several other neurological problems. In addition to replacing neurons, a transplant can be used to produce insulin for people with diabetes as well as heart muscle cells that could repair damages after a heart attack. A stem cell transplant can virtually replace any tissue or organ that is damaged. Another application is stem cell therapy. Stem cell therapies have the potential to do much more without transplanting any cells. For example, the research of how stem cells develop into heart muscles could lead to ways to induce heart muscles to repair the heart after a heart 2
Brooks attack (“The Power of Stem Cells”). These applications are the beginning to changing many painful lives.Stem cell therapies might be able to benefit people who have conditions such as spinal cord injuries, diabetes, Parkinson’s disease, cancer, heart disease, and more (Mayo Clinic). At this time, stem cell injections are able to positively affect the mobility of the spine. But unfortunately, the best results primarily came from injuries that happened more recently. This shows that more research is needed to find therapies that will successfully have an affect on patients who had a less recent injury. This pursuance could lead to reversing what is currently an irreversible condition (Murnaghan).
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- Fall '19
- stem cell therapies