Stem cell is no doubt the biggest development in the modern regenerative medicine. It’s not a miracle cure but a groundshattering technology which offers hope to hopeless disease. In other words it is a glory of god.
Stem cells are the cells which have the ability to renew themselves through mitotic cell division and differentiating into a diverse range of specialized cell types.
Stem cells can be classified into three broad categories, based on their ability to differentiate.
> Totipotent stem cells are found only in early embryos. Each cell can form a complete organism (e.g., identical twins).
> Pluripotent stem cells exist in the undifferentiated inner cell mass of the blastocyst and can form any of the over 200 different cell types found in the body.
> Multipotent stem cells are derived from fetal tissue, cord blood and adult stem cells. Although their ability to differentiate is more limited than pluripotent stem cells, they already have a track record of success in cell-based therapies. The different sources of stem cells are:
1. Embryonic stem cells - are harvested from the inner cell mass of the blastocyst seven to ten days after fertilization.
2. Fetal stem cells - are taken from the germ line tissues that will make up the gonads of aborted fetuses.
3. Umbilical cord stem cells - Umbilical cord blood contains stem cells similar to those found in bone marrow.
4. Placenta derived stem cells - up to ten times as many stem cells can be harvested from a placenta as from cord blood.
5. Adult stem cells - Many adult tissues contain stem cells that can be isolated.
Of these Cord blood stem cells has increased the hope of many persons. In last one year many couples has shown initiative to preserve cord blood stem cells. These preservation will not only help the child in future for disease management, but will also help the siblings and other family members as well.
According to doctors of Life Cell, due to the unique ability of stem cells to differentiate into a variety of cells, across the world, its therapy has increased the hope of patients suffering from blood diseases such as leukaemia, inherited immune system disorders, plasma cell disorders and other blood-related disorders. Other diseases like spinal cord injury, stroke, burns, heart disease, diabetes, osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis, Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s disease are also successfully treated with this unique treatment therapy.
“The success is ongoing and its benefits are mostly for acquired diseases,’’ explains Dr Bedi, who confirms that with time, research will yield better results.