Stem cell treatment is the use of genetically engineered stem cells to treat or prevent an disease or disorder. Currently, embryonic stem cell transplantation is the only treatment for genetically engineered stem cells. This usually occurs as umbilical cord blood transplants however, stem cells can also be obtained from umbilical cord plasma. Because there are a amount of questions regarding stem cell treatments, it is often times recommended to seek the counsel of your professional genealogist prior to undertaking any type of stem cell therapy. While there is some concerns about embryonic stem cells transplants’ ethics, research shows that they are extremely secure and many children have experienced success with stem cell treatments for their genetic disorders.
Scientists have discovered that certain patients can be treated using stem cell transplants and chemotherapy at the same time. The patient’s capability and willingness to endure the pressure of ongoing treatment is the key to the success of this transplant. In some patients the researchers have succeeded with just one transplant and then treating the patient with a single dose of chemotherapy. Scientists have discovered that chemotherapy drugs are affected by the person’s tolerance to stress. For this reason, researchers are currently evaluating more chemotherapy drugs for combined use.
Scientists aren’t finished stem cell transplants just yet. They are also looking into ways to utilize genetically engineered blood to treat chronic illnesses like leukemia and multiple sclerosis. Stem cells are basically living tissue that has been re-engineered to repair and replace damaged body parts. The use of donor skin or bone marrow as a source can provide a greater supply of stem cells to the part of the body that needs it.
In addition to using stem cell transplants, researchers are investigating other treatments that utilize specially bred, specialized cells. One group is testing the effect of the exposure of pregnant mice to high doses of radiation. The mice were not given radiation at all, but were exposed to extremely high levels of radiation. The mice survived, but only for a short amount of time. The mice may need several months of treatment in order to heal due to the fact that these cells are not well absorbed by the body.
Scientists are also studying the effectiveness of immune system boosters that mix stem cell treatments and immune system enhancements. Interferon is among the most well-known immune system boosters. Interferon is a treatment for many forms of cancer, including cancers of the blood and lymph. Researchers believe that stem cell therapies might have side effects that can be mitigated by boosting the immune system.
Scientists are also studying the effects of diet on the process of aging. They are looking at diets that have ingredients that help in the production of healthy cells. These include substances called antioxidants. These substances repair damage to tissues after they are produced by the body. Some of the substances that researchers are studying are phytosterols, lecithin and lipoic acid.
Scientists are still not in a position to fully comprehend the effects of stem cell transplants. They understand that the number of transplants performed is much smaller than what is required to treat a heart disease. Scientists can get an idea of the total positive effects for the patient in the event that they can create an effective combination of diet, exercise and transplants that could result in a more youthful, healthier heart. Stem cell transplant remains an effective treatment option since it can give patients an opportunity to live their lives again.
Other researchers are also looking at methods that are less dramatic, similar to therapeutic cloning. This is an instance in which there is no human contact between the donor and recipient. Cloning involves using DNA from other people and introducing the nucleus of these cells into the egg of the recipient. If successful, this procedure could allow researchers to produce the cells required to provide an entirely new source of energy for the immune system.
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