Stem cell treatment is the use of genetically engineered stem cells in order to treat or prevent an illness or disorder. Currently, embryonic stem cell transplantation is the sole treatment for genetically engineered stem cells. It typically is done as umbilical cord blood transplants however, the stem cells can also be obtained from umbilical cord plasma. Because there are a number of concerns regarding stem cell therapies, it is often times recommended to seek the advice of a professional genealogist before deciding on undergoing any stem cell treatment. Although some concerns have been raised about the ethical implications of embryonic stem cells, research has shown that these transplants have very little risk and many children have enjoyed successful treatment of their genetic diseases using stem cells.
Scientists have discovered that certain patients can be treated with stem cells and chemotherapy at the same time. The patient’s ability and willingness to take on the stress of ongoing treatment is key to the success of this procedure. In some cases researchers have had success with just one transplant and then treated the patient with a single dose of chemotherapy. Researchers have discovered that chemotherapy drugs are affected by a person’s tolerance to stress. For this reason, researchers are currently testing additional cancer fighting medications for combined use.
Scientists are still working on stem cell transplants. They are also studying ways to utilize genetically engineered blood to treat chronic illnesses such as leukemia and multiple sclerosis. Stem cells are living tissue that has been’re-engineered to repair and replace damaged parts of the body. Using the donor skin or bone marrow as a source can provide a stronger supply of stem cell to the region of the body that needs it.
Researchers are also studying other treatments that use stem cell transplants. One group is studying the effects of exposing pregnant mice to high doses of radiation. The radiation was not administered to the mice however they were exposed to very high levels of radiation. The mice survived however only for short periods of time. The mice may need months of treatment to recover as these special cells are not well absorbed by the body.
Scientists are also studying the effectiveness of immune system boosters that combine stem cell treatments with immune system enhancements. One of the most well-known types of immune system boosters is a substance known as interferon. Interferon is used to treat different types of cancer, including those of the blood and lymph. Researchers believe that increasing the immune system can be successful in reducing the negative effects of some stem cell therapies.
Scientists are also studying the effects of diet on aging. They are looking at diets that have ingredients that encourage the production of healthy cells. These substances are known as antioxidants. When they are created by our bodies, these antioxidants can repair tissue damage. Researchers are currently studying lecithin and phytosterols along with lipoic acid.
Of course, scientists haven’t yet fully understood the exact effects of stem cell transplants. Researchers know that transplants are carried out at a lower frequency than the amount required to treat heart disease that is severe. Researchers can see the overall positive effects for patients if they can create a combination diet, exercise and transplant that result in a younger, healthier heart. Stem cell transplants are a very strong treatment option as it can provide patients with a new lease on life.
Other researchers are also looking at methods that are less dramatic, similar to therapeutic the use of cloning. In this case, there is no direct human contact between the donor and the recipient. Cloning involves using DNA from other people and introducing the nucleus of these cells into the egg of the recipient. If it is successful, this method could allow researchers to produce the cells required to supply a new source of fuel for the immune system.
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