Stem cells are the body’s master cells and have the ability to replicate to form different cells in the body. They are unspecialized cells that replicate and form into specialized cells. Stem cells are found in the bone marrow, cord blood and also in the blood stream. They can repair, replace, or renew damaged cells.
- Embryonic stem cells are derived from embryos which are fertilized through in-vitro fertilization. Embryonic cells have the ability to become any cell. The use of embryonic stem cells is a controversial topic.
- Adult stem cells are found in adult tissue. These are the type of stem cells used to treat diseases. Cord blood stem cells are adult stem cells.
The diseases that can be treated with stem cells from cord blood include the following:
- Aplastic anemia
- Leukemia (multiple types)
- Hodgkin’s and Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma
- Sickle-cell disease
- Fanconi anemia
- Other inherited metabolic, immunological, and hemolytic disorders
Stem cells are continually be studied and researched. The future of stem cell therapy could be used to treat the following diseases:
- Diabetes Type I
- Heart disease
- Parkinson’s disease
- Multiple sclerosis
- Spinal cord injuries
- Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS)
- Alzheimer’s disease
- Rheumatoid arthritis
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|What Are Stem Cells?|
Author : Diba Tillery RN, BSN, IBCLC, CPST