Stem research is a growing field of science that is helping to treat diseases, improve function and even grow new organs. The stem cell industry as it stands today has a strong track record of success, but there are still many challenges facing the field.
What are Stem Cells?
Stem cells are undifferentiated cells that can divide and differentiate into many different cell types. They are often called “master cells” because they can make all the specialized cells in the body, such as blood, nerve, muscle, or skin cells. Stem cells can be found in your bone marrow, umbilical cord blood, and placenta.
Stem cell research is at the forefront of biological sciences today—and for good reason: The field has yielded immense breakthroughs in treating a variety of diseases from cancer to diabetes to Parkinson's disease. In fact, there are over 600 clinical studies underway right now that use or explore stem cell therapies!
How might they be used to treat disease?
Stem cells have three key characteristics that make them useful for treating disease. First, they are able to self-renew, meaning that under the right conditions they can divide repeatedly to produce more stem cells. Second, they have the potential to develop into any type of specialized cell within the body (this ability is called pluripotency). Finally, stem cells are capable of differentiating into many types of tissues (they can become bone marrow or muscle).
Stem cell therapies have been used in humans for almost 30 years and continue to advance rapidly as we learn more about how these cells work and what purposes they can serve. The treatment options currently available include using adult mesenchymal (adult) stem cells from bone marrow or umbilical cord blood; embryonic stem cells created through cloning; induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells derived from mature somatic tissue; and spermatogonial progenitor germline stem-like progenitors which arise from testicular tissue during fetal development but persist into adulthood.
Stem Cell studies in MS
Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a disease that affects the central nervous system. It is caused by a loss of myelin, which is an insulating layer that surrounds nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord, causing communication problems between these nerves. In MS, the immune system mistakenly attacks and damages myelin.
MS has many symptoms, including blurred vision; numbness or weakness in arms or legs; unsteadiness walking; tingling or pain in parts of your body such as your arms and legs; trouble with memory; mood changes such as depression or irritability; slurred speech. MS can be mild to severe and interfere with daily life. However, there are no cures for MS at this time so treatment focuses on slowing down its progression to limit disability from the disease
Additional study into stem cell treatments is needed.
A variety of studies have been conducted at various institutions in order to determine whether or not stem cell treatments are viable. The results so far are promising, with many patients reporting significant improvements after receiving this treatment. There is still a lot of work to be done before stem cells can be used as a viable treatment option for patients who suffer from various conditions and diseases, but we're getting there!
The benefits of stem research are clear. Stem cells can be used for scientific research, as well as for treating diseases and injuries. The hope is that this article will encourage other researchers to pursue their own projects in the field of stem cells, leading to further discoveries that benefit humanity.