5 Stem Cell Facts That May Surprise You - Stem Cell Centers, Regenerative Stem Cell Therapy

5 Stem Cell Facts That May Surprise You

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Stem Cell Facts

Get stem cell facts and empower yourself with knowledge for fighting disease and injury!

Have you ever broken something and wished that it could simply be put back together? When it comes to your body, you’ve probably broken or torn different tissues at some point in your life. Luckily, your body actually can put itself back together, and it does it through the help of stem cells. These stem cells already are abundant in your own body and seek to help your body heal from injury.  Stem cell centers are excited to bring you up-to-date on the latest and greatest stem cell science has to offer you with these amazing stem cell facts. Read on!

Stem Cells Are Neutral Cells

Stem cells are neutral cells that can take on the characteristics of any other type of cell. You have them abundantly when you are born, but they diminish in number as you age. Stem cells can help accelerate healing for many chronic conditions and diseases.

The potential for stem cells has excited scientists and doctors worldwide for decades, but as scientific theory and technologies catch up, the realities of what stem cells could/can do is now not a hope but a reality.

Find out all of the amazing things that stem cells can do and how you can benefit!

Stem Cells to Treat Currently Untreatable Medical Conditions

Scientists involved in stem cell research believe that stem cells will be the answer to treating medical conditions like Parkinson’s disease, spinal cord injury, stroke, burns, heart disease, diabetes, osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.

Stem cells have already had great success with various diseases and conditions like macular degeneration.

A woman in her 80s has become the first person to be successfully treated with induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells. A slither of laboratory-made retinal cells has protected her eyesight, fighting her age-related macular degeneration – a common form of progressive blindness.  Her vision didn’t improve, but it has remained stable; hasn’t grown worse since treatment. The patient feels her vision is “brighter” than before. “This first iPSC-derived retinal graft is an important landmark in the field of retinal regeneration,” says James Bainbridge at University College London, and head of a trial at Moorfields Eye Hospital in London of similar grafts made instead from human embryonic stem cells.

Stem Cells Can be Altered to Become Other Needed Cells

One of the amazing things about stem cells is that they can be altered to change into mature cells with enhanced capabilities like replicating the cells of heart muscle or the cells of the pancreas needed for insulin production.

In 2006, researchers at Kyoto University in Japan established conditions that resulted in specialized adult cells that could be genetically “reprogrammed” to assume a stem cell-like state. These adult cells, called induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs), were successfully reprogrammed to an embryonic stem cell-like state. This was achieved by introducing genes important for maintaining the essential properties of embryonic stem cells (ESCs). Since then, scientists have greatly improved the techniques to engineer iPSCs, creating a powerful new way to “de-differentiate” cells. iPSCs give scientists an alternative, pluripotent cell to human embryonic which could help with some of the ethical concerns surrounding ESCs.

There Are Different Categories of Stem Cells

If you are going to know your stem cell facts, a biggie is the next one. Stem cells are not all the same. There are several different categories of stem cells with unique functions like:

  • Embryonic Stem Cells: Originate in the earliest stages of development.  Embryonic stem cells are distinct from other stem cells because they are pluripotent–they can work in all three primary germ layers and can generate all of the 220+ cells found in the adult human body. Because of this, the potential of embryonic stem cells may well be limitless.
  • Adult (or Tissue Specific) Stem Cells: Materialize during fetal development and stay in the body throughout life. These stem cells are found in many organs including the brain, heart, liver, bone marrow and skin but have limited self-renewal capacity. They have been successfully used for therapy in the organs from which they were originally derived. Bone marrow transplants are an example of the life-saving capabilities of adult stem cells.
  • Amniotic Stem Cells: Amniotic stem cells were first isolated from amniotic fluid in 2007. In 2010, researchers converted amniotic fluid cells into pluripotent stem cells, which are similar to ES cells.  Derived from the amniotic sac. The major difference between embryonic stem cells and amniotic is that unlike embryonic stem cells, amniotic cells are not pluripotent. They are “multipotent”; they can only differentiate into certain cell types.  Creating stem cells from a patient’s own tissue eradicates problems with immune rejection and avoids the controversial use of embryos. But their inability to morph into as many tissue types as real embryonic cells remains a limitation.
  • Cord-Blood Stem Cells: These stem cells are derived from umbilical cords. Cord-blood stem cells are also multipotent. Although they are limited in their offerings, cord-blood stem-cell transplants have become a viable alternative to bone-marrow transplants for treating blood disorders like leukemia, when a bone-marrow match is unavailable.
  • Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells (iPS Cells): Engineered by scientists in a laboratory from specialized cells (like from the skin) that have shared qualities to those of embryonic stem cells.  
  • Nuclear transfer (NT)-ES cells: were developed using human cells in 2013. These are stem cells created by taking the DNA from a somatic cell and using it to replace the genetic material in an egg cell.

Stem Cells Are NOT Only Harvested from Embryos

Actually, stem cells reside in every part of your body. While it is true that stem cells can be drawn from embryos, they are also found in abundance throughout the body from muscles, tissues, organs, bone marrow and fat.

Embryonic stem cells garnish more attention than most types of stem cells because they are unique. Embryonic stem cells have the potential to produce all 220 specialized cells in the body. Because of this rare potential, embryonic stem cells are often linked to stem cell research. But, stem cell research and stem cell therapies offer several different types of stem cells for treatment that do NOT use embryonic stem cells.  

For some, this is important to note because there are some ethical concerns associated with the use of embryonic stem cells for research and treatment.

Are You a Stem Cell Candidate?

Now that you know some stem cell facts, find out if you are a candidate for treatment.  Ideal candidates for stem cell therapy include those that are suffering from pain or dysfunction due to injury or age-related joint issues.  If you are you worried that surgery, a lifelong dependency on pain medications, or a departure from your prior functionality are your only options, stem cell therapy may be for you.

Find out if you are a candidate for this revolutionary treatment by scheduling a free consultation with a stem cell therapist near you!  If you have questions, or would like to know more about regenerative stem cell therapy, please call us at (877) 808-0016 or click contact us.