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Major Diseases and Stem Cells

By: Ian Murnaghan BSc (hons), MSc - Updated: 15 Mar 2017 | comments*Discuss
 
Stem Cells Cancer Diabetes Spinal Cord

Possibly the most exciting use of stem cells rests on their ability to differentiate into an enormous range of healthy functioning adult cells, thereby providing a replacement source of cells to treat serious diseases. This ultimately means that virtually any disease that results in cellular and tissue destruction can potentially be treated by stem cells. Some of the conditions are particularly debilitating and these include diabetes, spinal cord injuries, retinal disease, Parkinson's disease, heart disease and cancer.

Heart Disease

Stem cell research into heart disease has shown some very promising results. The goal is to eventually replace all of the damaged heart tissue with healthy cells. Some of the initial research in laboratory animals such as mice has suggested that when adult stem cells derived from non-heart tissues are transplanted into a damaged heart, the cells were still able to give rise to healthy heart muscle cells. Directing stem cell differentiation is another important feature of research into heart disease. Some of the more recent studies have shown that it could be possible to guide the differentiation of embryonic stem cells into heart muscle cells.

Diabetes

People who are diagnosed with type I diabetes have abnormal insulin regulation. The pancreatic cells that would normally produce insulin are destroyed by the sufferer's own immune system. Research is now suggesting that it may be feasible to control stem cell differentiation so that stem cells are guided in the laboratory to generate specialised cells capable of producing insulin. The hope is that these cells could be transplanted into diabetics, removing their need for insulin injection. Additional research is still needed to control the conditions necessary to direct cell growth, but findings thus far are positive.

Parkinson's Disease

Parkinson's disease entails the destruction of cells producing a neurotransmitter called dopamine. A recent study with embryonic stem cells found that transplanted cells were able to function and release dopamine, relieving the symptoms of Parkinson's disease. There were, however, side effects reported that were thought to correlate with a hypersensitivity to dopamine or excessive dopamine levels. Despite the side effects, the results have still been impressive and further research should provide more insight into this potential therapy.

Cancer

Many people may have already heard of bone marrow transplants, which are a type of stem cell transplant that have been used for years now. This type of transplant is used for cancers such as leukaemia, where it allows the marrow to receive fresh and healthy cells, which then multiply and give rise to the different types of blood that are necessary for life. This procedure is often a life saving one for those whose marrow has been destroyed by chemotherapy and radiation. Current research is focused on overcoming the immunological challenges of cell rejection so that the success rate of a bone marrow transplant can be improved.

Spinal Cord Injuries

The potential benefit of stem cell therapy for spinal cord injuries is remarkable in that it may one day reverse what is currently an irreversible condition. Studies have found that in laboratory animal models, stem cell injections were able to positively affect motility but the results were most significant with the lowest elapsed time between the injury and the injections. The results show that a great deal more work is needed, particularly to find successful therapies for those patients who have 'older' spinal cord injuries. It is hoped that this research offers some hope to those who are wheelchair bound from spinal cord injuries.

Retinal Diseases

Retinal diseases vary widely but the consequences can range from mild effects on vision to complete and rapid onset of blindness. Scientists have recently been able to direct the growth of photoreceptor cells from stem cells. These photoreceptor cells are necessary for vision and scientists have been able to effectively introduce them into the retina. This progress is encouraging for those who suffer from degenerative retinal diseases because there is the possibility of restoring or saving vision. It may one day even lead to a complete reversal of blindness although research still appears to have a long path ahead before this becomes a reality.

As the incidence of many serious diseases increases, the pressure similarly increases to find cures and treatment methods. Stem cells offer the potential to dramatically reduce human suffering from disease but as of yet, we are still in the relatively early stages of providing safe and successful treatment. Numerous stem cell based studies are ongoing each year and they can offer some hope for you or a loved one suffering from a major disease.

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[Add a Comment]
I have a sister with type 2 diabetics can she be cured with stem cell
TAUFIQ - 15-Mar-17 @ 9:10 PM
Can type 2 diabetics be treated with stem cell
Taufiq - 15-Mar-17 @ 9:05 PM
Can the double stem cell give a permanent cure to SS?
Is - 20-Feb-17 @ 7:43 PM
Hi, I am 29 years old woman, suffering with type 2 diabetes, I am pregnant now, is it possible to cure my diabetes with my baby stem cell
Bujji - 21-Dec-16 @ 6:44 PM
I just know I have lever and intestine cancercan this disease be cure
No - 2-Dec-16 @ 3:45 PM
My uncle suffering from tumer in urinary blader what i do
Tinku - 23-Nov-16 @ 9:34 AM
Big d - Your Question:
I have crippling deppression can I cure

Our Response:
I am sorry to hear you have depression. There are ongoing trials to test the safety of a stem cell-based therapy ( that promotes the growth of new nerve cells in the hippocampus) in treating major depressive disorder (MDD). However, I am not aware of any treatement being carried out. You would have to search the stem cell trials in your country or globally, please see NHS link here. However, I'm not sure if any will be stem-cell based in the UK, just yet.
ExploreStemCells - 9-Nov-16 @ 10:15 AM
I have crippling deppression can I cure
Big d - 8-Nov-16 @ 12:01 PM
Sir I want to know, which diseas work successfuly, i want to join iphytoscience MLM Company,. Please give me a reasonable answer , then i will join the iphytoscience MLM Company,. Double stem cell work In Shugar or not and Blod Preshur l, high, and low, Muhammad Usman
Muhammad Usman - 1-Nov-16 @ 2:29 AM
Is it possible to cure anosmia with stem cell therapy ? Is there any research going on?
adman - 29-Oct-16 @ 12:29 PM
Hi. My daughter is suffering from traumatic brain injury from last 4 months. She inhaled a bolt and due to lack of oxygen she got brain injury. Is her treatment possible with stem cells
Dips - 21-Oct-16 @ 9:31 PM
Hi My 14 yrs son is treated locally by surgery for ewing sarcoma and he has lost his right kidney. We have started his chemo. Kindly tell me wheather stem cell theropy can recover him fully. Thanks in advance.
Nachi - 2-Oct-16 @ 8:09 PM
sir lam suffering from sexual disorder .is stemcelltherapy pr phytoscience stem cell cure my problem
chptu - 20-Jul-16 @ 10:01 PM
Are you sure? The results from double stem cellis 100% ?for Parkinson's Disease
kaji - 27-Apr-16 @ 2:26 PM
A 10 years child spring from kidny disease. he was on Dylisis for 6 month. But before 2 month he uses double stemcell. he is ok only for 2 month. But now present time had to dylisis.please tell me parmanent treatment.
sanjay - 20-Apr-16 @ 2:46 AM
My brother is 24 year old he is neurologicalpatient and unable to do his work because of less mind .so I want to ask hear that with the help of stem cell his mind should be developed or not if it possible please tell me how he get this treatment in less money because we belong to middle class family.
neeti - 11-Mar-16 @ 11:27 AM
My baby has thyroid.. is it cured with stem cells?
Anchal - 17-Feb-16 @ 4:15 PM
Suffering from spine injury. Is double stem cell of apples & grapes useful for me
Bagga - 17-Feb-16 @ 1:09 PM
MY DAUGHTER IS HEAVING CHROMOSONAL PROBLEM OF 22Q13 DELETION SHE IS 5 YEAR OLD UNABLE TO TALK AND WALK HEAVING THIRD DAUGHTER SHE IS FINE AND I HAVE PRESERVED STEMCELLS PL LET ME KNOW HOW THIS HELPS TO MY DAUGHTER
SANDY - 12-Feb-16 @ 3:53 AM
am 33Y OLDgUYDIAGNOSED ā€¯SPINOCEREBELLAR ATAXIAā€¯.can I Usedouble Stem cell?
KIkU - 13-Dec-15 @ 3:50 AM
Gbm - Your Question:
Hi, I was diognosed with transverse myelitis in 2013 and still am affected from it mobility wise and pain wise. Will stem therapy help to improve my symptoms?Please let me know ASAP Thanks gbm

Our Response:
Treatment is only at the experimental stage in the UK, but there are other areas in the world which claim to have made more advances in this area. However, because evidence is still sketchy in the UK, you would have to do some research into whether other countries are offering treatments.
ExploreStemCells - 10-Nov-15 @ 11:06 AM
Hi, I was diognosed with transverse myelitis in 2013 and still am affected from it mobility wise and pain wise. Will stem therapy help to improve my symptoms? Please let me know ASAP Thanks gbm
Gbm - 9-Nov-15 @ 9:40 AM
stem cells could potentially be used to protect us from a fall from a plane with no parachute
Olliver Mcduff - 5-Nov-15 @ 12:07 PM
rach - Your Question:
Hello,Y baby is 1 yr old diagnosed with achromatopsia. if I preserve my stem cells during my second pregnancy will that be helpful for my first baby suffering frm achromatopsia?

Our Response:
You would have to speak directly with your child's consultant or GP about this.
ExploreStemCells - 30-Oct-15 @ 2:46 PM
Hello, Y baby is 1 yr old diagnosed with achromatopsia.... if I preserve my stem cells during my second pregnancy will that be helpful for my first baby suffering frm achromatopsia?
rach - 29-Oct-15 @ 10:25 PM
Hello, My students are currently learning about cells and there was a question posed about STEM cells. We are currently studying a dog named Jasper who was paralyzed but upon being injected with STEM cells, he was slowly (also through physical therapy after the injection) to walk again. I am curious what you know about cells relating to this disease and your take on STEM cell work with a disease such as this. Also, we are looking at the good and bad so any struggles you've had while researching would be nice to share as well. I thank you for your time and look forward to hearing from you.
J - 17-Oct-15 @ 5:09 PM
Pl keep me informed in regards to TK2 MITOCHONDRIAL MAYOPATHY
SSD - 5-Aug-15 @ 3:38 PM
I have a 3 months old daughter. One thing that makes me relived of tension of her future more than anything else is stem cell preservation with Cryobanks International. Although there is no standard cord blood cost attach to the preservation, but it can assure you long-term benefits that nothing else could ever provide.
Anamika - 18-Jun-15 @ 10:27 AM
@priya - scientists are getting closer to finding a way to turn skin cells from a patient suffering from muscular dystrophy into healthy muscle cells, so that the newly made cells could boost the performance of failing muscles and therefore help reduce some of the worst symptoms. However, the progress made is still only at the clinical trial stage, which means it is still some way off being offered as a treatment to patients.
ExploreStemCells - 2-Jun-15 @ 10:44 AM
my sister is suffering from muscular dystrophy. she is 21 year old. I have not stor stem cell. you can't treat anybody stem cell.
priya - 29-May-15 @ 11:33 AM
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