Stem cells are somewhat of a controversial topic and may be due to many not fully understanding what they are and what they have the potential to do. There has much research over the last several years that helps to support that stem cells can potentially help many injuries, conditions, and ailments. This article covers what stem cells do and why they are important to the field of regenerative medicine.
What Are Stem Cells?
Most cells are specialized to one area of your body, such as neurons in the brain or melanocytes in your skin. Specialized cells can never change into another type of cell or serve a different purpose, no matter how badly your body may need it.
But stem cells are different. They are unspecialized cells that can divide rapidly and turn into any other kind of cell in your body. Stem cells replicate their surroundings so they can turn into any cell from specialized cardiac muscle cells to blood cells and replace damaged cells.
Where Do Stem Cells Come From?
There are two main types of stem cells used in regenerative medicine.
Adult Stem Cells: These cells, also called somatic stem cells, are produced in various organs and tissues throughout the body in order to replace old cells as they die. Adult stem cells are often harvested from either adipose (fat) or bone marrow.
Umbilical Cord-Derived Stem Cells: These cells come from Wharton’s Jelly, a jelly-like substance that lines the blood vessels of the umbilical cord. This jelly is an extremely potent source of versatile mesenchymal stem cells. Umbilical cord stem cells are also much younger than adult stem cells and have greater regenerative power and longer life.
Who Benefits from Stem Cell Therapy?
Stem cell therapy is a relatively modern concept, but it has the potential to help conditions and injuries such as:
- Spinal cord injuries
- Multiple sclerosis
- Autoimmune conditions
Stem cell therapy continues to undergo research and applications each year.
Why Are Stem Cells Important?
Stem cells are a key element in the field of regenerative medicine and the future of treatment because they are unspecialized cells (essentially, blank slates). That means stem cells are highly adaptable and versatile, which makes them a promising option for managing the symptoms of a wide variety of ailments. Stem cells also can divide and reproduce indefinitely, making them an attractive alternative in the emerging field of regenerative medicine.
This post was written by a medical professional at Stemedix Inc. At Stemedix we provide access to Regenerative Medicine, also known as Seattle stem cell clinic. Regenerative medicine has the natural potential to help improve symptoms sometimes lost from the progression of many conditions.