Countless diseases are there that keep destroying the tissue; thereby, deteriorating an individual’s physical and mental condition. The sometimes controversial topic of stem cell research causes much debate among people. But embryotic stem cells can help to regenerate those cells lost or destroyed to disease. But what diseases can stem cell research help treat? And which stem cell treatment options are legitimate and how do you know? Read on to discover 8 medical conditions stem cell research may cure, if used correctly.
Diabetes affects nearly 29 million people in the United States. The most common form of the disorder is type 2 diabetes, which affects how the body processes blood sugar. People with type 2 diabetes are often required to adjust their diet, take medication or insulin shots, and increase exercise. All of these methods help maintain healthy blood sugar levels. Type 1 diabetes is less common but is also a chronic condition where the pancreas produces too little insulin or none at all. For those with type 1 diabetes, stem cells may offer an answer. Often times, the pancreatic cells that help produce insulin are non-existent in type 1 diabetic patients. Stem cell research has shown that embryonic cells have the potential to create cells that produce insulin while also regulating blood sugar levels. Although these tests have only been performed on mice, the hope is to someday offer this same type of treatment to humans.
2. Heart Disease
Heart disease is another extremely common condition among Americans and encompasses a long list of illnesses and ailments connected to blocked or clogged vessels in the heart. This condition can eventually lead to heart attack, chest pains, or even a stroke. Heart disease also causes a breakdown in the heart muscles and stem cells may help regenerate these damaged muscles. This method is still in the infancy stages and there’s no definite proof that it would be successful for humans. But with heart disease being one of the biggest causes of death in the United States, the possibility is intriguing and could benefit millions.
3. Back Pain
Back pain is extremely common among many people, whether it’s from physical activity, prior injury or work related. Although chiropractic care, massage, and physical therapy can help treat some causes of back pain, research shows that patients may find relief through stem cell treatment. Blood vessels containing stem cells from the fat in a person’s abdomen can actually be injected back into the body near the spine. Injections are usually placed on either side of the spine near the lower back or the neck, depending on what area of the back is affected. Because there are so many causes of back pain, stem cell treatment may not be for everyone. But you can visit this website to learn more about the process and possibilities.
The most common form of arthritis is osteoporosis and this is the condition that stem cells can potentially help treat. Osteoporosis and arthritis are also known as degenerative joint disease because of the negative impact they have on a person’s joints, ultimately wearing away at the cartilage. This disorder can affect many parts of the body from the knees and hips to the hands, feet, and neck. The primary issue with arthritis is that once the cartilage in these areas is worn away, it cannot regenerate. But this may not be true when it comes to using stem cells. Scientists are hoping that stem cells will help rebuild lost cartilage and repair joints in arthritis patients.
5. Spinal Cord Injury
We’ve already learned that stem cell treatment could potentially help those suffering from back pain, but studies show that it may also help individuals with severe spinal cord injuries resulting in paralysis. In fact, treating people with this type of injury was the first FDA approved attempt at using embryonic stem cells on humans. The attempt was primarily made to test whether or not the treatment option was safe, but there is always a hope to treat people with acute spinal cord injuries. The test will also determine if patients regain any feeling or control of their lower extremities. This process is aimed at stimulating nerve growth through the use of injected stem cells.
6. Alzheimer’s Disease
Sadly, Alzheimer’s Disease is a progressive disorder that kills a person’s brain cells, dramatically impacting their memory, speech, cognition, behavior, and daily life. This disease affects nearly 5.7 million people in the United States and it’s not only the sufferers that are impacted by Alzheimer’s Disease. Often times, family members are greatly affected by the individual’s inability to remember loved ones or care for themselves, while also engaging in outbursts and other negative behaviors. But stem cell treatment might be able to help restore some of the brain cells killed by this disorder. Because there is no known cause or treatment for Alzheimer’s Disease, currently, some doctors and scientists are skeptical about whether or not stem cells will offer relief.
7. Parkinson’s Disease
Similar to Alzheimer’s Disease, Parkinson’s Disease is also a neurodegenerative disorder, but the signs and symptoms are different. Those suffering from Parkinson’s usually suffer from tremors, speech and movement problems, as well as stiffness in the body. Parkinson’s Disease happens when there is a drop in dopamine levels. This occurs when dopamine-generating cells in the brain, known as dopaminergic cells die. There is no cause for this but researchers hope that stem cell treatment can help these cells start producing dopamine once more. This rise in dopamine levels could potentially improve a patient’s motor function and mobility.
When it comes to all of the above mentioned conditions and disorders, not all treatment options work. This is especially true for conditions such as Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s Disease where there is no known cause or cure. Although stem cell treatment is a controversial topic and not one backed by concrete scientific evidence, the potential benefits are certainly interesting and may be something to consider for those suffering from these conditions. However, at the end of it all, more research and experimentation is required to truly understand the benefits and risks associated with stem cell treatment.
Article Submitted By Community Writer