The Future is Bright for Stem Cell Treatments
Considering the many emerging research studies on possible cord blood and cord tissue stem cell use, the future of stem cell treatments is very bright. Only the surface has been scratched when it comes to discovering the potential of these cells to treat diseases and disorders. New technologies that allow for the expansion of cord blood cells means that effective autologous therapy will be achievable well into adulthood. Additionally, research has shown that cord blood stem cells can also be effectively used for regeneration or repair, of non-hematopoietic tissues, such as the repair of joint damage through cartilage regeneration. Studies have also demonstrated that these cells are effective at modulating/reducing inflammation, and in the treatment of neurological disorders (ie. ALS, Alzheimer’s Disease, Stroke) that can occur later in life. Keeping up with the latest news inspires hope in the future.
Cord blood stem cells may help restore vision for those suffering from macular degeneration
A phase 2 clinical trial is underway for the use of stem cells from umbilical cord blood to treat the most common form of macular degeneration. Researchers believe that that the treatment may not only stop the disease’s progression and thereby prevent its worse effects, but in fact, restore vision.
Treating spina bifida in utero with cord-tissue patch
The scope of the conditions being treated with cord blood and cord tissue stem cells is already extensive and keeps growing. This is a fascinating, current treatment using cryopreserved human umbilical cord to heal spina bifida. The findings are published in Obstetrics & Gynecology, the journal of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG).
Umbilical cord blood provides hope for children with autism
A first-of-its-kind study involving children with autism shows very promising results. 30 children with autism, ranging in age from two to seven received an infusion of their cord blood stem cells stored at birth. Afterwards, the participants were regularly tested for a year using a variety of psychological and cognitive assessment tools. 60% of parents of children who participated in the study said they saw moderate to significant improvements, especially in language and social skills.
Birthing new skin with umbilical cord stem cells
Plastic surgeon and stem cell researcher, Dr Phan has a passion for healing wounds. That passion led him to discover a way to create skin cells quickly and in large quantities by using the lining from umbilical cords. Rather than using the limited available amount of a patient's skin to help heal a burn, the cells from the umbilical cord lining can provide an unlimited reserve of un-programmed cells to create new skin and bone, and even other body parts, such as the cornea in the eye. Such methods could potentially heal wounds from burns or diseases such as diabetes.
Stem cells from umbilical cord blood may help treat eczema
A new study suggests that treatment with stem cells from umbilical cord blood might be an effective therapy for patients with moderate-to-severe eczema, or atopic dermatitis. For the clinical trial, 34 patients were randomly assigned to receive a low dose or high dose of the cells. Fifty five percent of patients who received the high dose showed a 50% reduction in what’s known as the Eczema Area after 12 weeks after treatment.
Stem Cells Restore Motor Function to Stroke Patients
Researchers at Stanford reported that they are “stunned” by the results of an experimental treatment to treat stroke patients. The study in which stem cells were injected directly into the brains of stroke patients, resulted in motor function being restored in some of the patients. Though designed initially to look at the safety of such a procedure as opposed to its effectives, nonetheless, it is creating significant buzz in the neuroscience community because the results appear to contradict a core belief about brain damage — that it is permanent and irreversible.
How a clinical trial could change the face of Parkinson's Disease
The use of stem cells to treat diseases has gained enormous traction over the past decade. These cells, taken from umbilical cord blood and bone marrow are special because they can be manipulated into other cells: a heart, blood or brain cell. They can replace damaged tissue with healthy tissue, and that's essentially what these scientists are trying to do in this clinical trial; replace the nerve cells that die off when someone gets Parkinson's disease.
Stem cells from cord tissue may be able to treat osteoporosis in the future
Osteoporosis affects over 200M people worldwide and, unlike post-menopausal (type-I) osteoporosis, both women and men are equally susceptible to developing the age-related (type-II) form of this chronic disease. Research published this week in Stem Cells Translation Medicine indicates that an injection of mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) could restore normal bone structure in people suffering from type-II osteoporosis. Umbilical cord tissue is a readily available source of MSCs.
Umbilical Cord Tissue for Tough to Treat Wounds
Unfortunately, it is common for diabetic patients to get wounds on their feet. In fact, amputation is a big risk for diabetics. Fortunately, stem cells from umbilical cord tissue are being used to treat these and other wounds. “We’re using the stem cells and the growth factors of this tissue together to make a graft for a patient,” says Foot Surgeon Dr. Andrew Rice at Fairfield County Foot Surgeons.
Doctors are Using Cord Blood to Fight Cerebral Palsy
A day after she was born, Noa had a stroke and began convulsing. Now, two years later, a promising new treatment at the Sheba Medical Center at Tel Hashomer outside Tel Aviv could help her battle cerebral palsy. Dr. Omar Bar-Yosef, a pediatric neurologist and at the Edmond and Lily Safra Children's Hospital at the Sheba Medical Center, is treating babies with CP. "Studies have shown that cord blood, and the stem cells it may contain, can help to treat brain injuries."