The Various Sources and Uses of Stem Cells in Regenerative Medicine

Regenerative medicine is a branch of medicine that replaces diseased or damaged cells to establish normal functioning. An example of regenerative medicine is stem cell therapy. You can benefit from stem cell therapy if you have medical conditions such as Parkinson’s disease, cancer, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, and type 1 diabetes. Your Atlanta, GA aesthetics & regenerative medicine specialist is in a better position to determine which treatment is proper for you.

What are stem cells?

Stem cells are your body’s raw materials from which specialized cells come. Stem cells divide to form daughter cells – cells with a specific function including bone cells, blood cells, and heart muscle cells. In addition, stem cells are the only cells in your body to generate new cells.

Where do stem cells originate from?

Different sources include:

Adult stem cells

Stem cells can be found in adult tissues such as fat and bone marrow. However, they occur in small quantities and are not as versatile as embryonic stem cells but still can give rise to various cells in the body. For example, stem cells in the bone marrow could form blood cells, bone, and heart muscle cells. Today, clinical trials are being used to test the effectiveness of adult stem cells in individuals with neurological diseases.

Embryonic stem cells

These stem cells are obtained from a blastocyst. This is an embryo that has lived from 3 to five days. A blastocyst contains approximately 150 cells which can divide into more stem cells or may regenerate into any other type of cell in the body. Due to its ability to give rise to any cell, embryonic stem cells repair and regenerate damaged tissues and organs.

Perinatal stem cells

Stem cells can also be found in umbilical cord blood and amniotic fluid. The amniotic fluid plays several roles during pregnancy. For example, it facilitates the baby’s movement in the womb and the development of the lungs. Tests performed on amniotic fluid obtained from pregnant women to test for abnormalities have indicated stem cells. These cells can also give rise to specialized cells.

What are stem cells used for?

Tissue regeneration

This is the most common and significant use of stem cells. For example, these cells could develop a specific organ, including a new kidney needed for a transplant. Today, doctors use stem cells to generate new skin, which may help repair a severe burn.

Brain disease treatment

Stem cell therapy is used to treat different brain diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s. Patients with Parkinson’s disease experience uncontrolled muscle movements as a result of damaged brain cells. Stem cells could help regenerate new cells to replace the damaged ones. This may, in turn, stop the uncontrolled muscle movements.

Treatment of blood disease

Hematopoietic stem cells are used today to treat blood conditions such as sickle cell anemia and leukemia. These cells are found in bone marrow and blood and can produce blood cells, including white and red blood cells.

Regenerative treatment also offers cosmetic benefits such as skin tightening and breast enhancement. For further inquiries on regenerative medicine, book a session with your specialist at John David Mullins, MD PC, to learn more.

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