stem cell reserch

New Medical Advancements and Innovations Using Stem Cells

Stem cell research is shaping the treatment of many of the world’s most prevalent disorders and diseases, including diabetes, heart disease, spinal cord injury and Parkinson’s. Stem cells are cells that are able to divide for indefinite periods. That unique ability enables stem cells to develop into specialized cells from any organ in the body, where they can help treat ailments like blindness or replace damaged neurons. Stem cells have the power to help all of us, from children to the elderly.

Here’s a look at some of the most promising new medical procedures that are being developed, thanks to recent advancements in stem cell research.

Cord Blood Infusions for Autism

Cord blood therapy, in which stem-cell-rich blood from the patient’s own umbilical cord is transfused to the patient, has shown improvements in children with autism. In 2017, Duke researchers found that two-thirds of children in a safety study for this type of treatment showed improvements.

In February 2018, a double-blind study of children with autism found significant improvements in language and socialization after 12 weeks of cord blood treatment. Parents who want to bank umbilical cord blood in case the need arises in the future can use a cord blood registry to do so.

Functional Cure for Type 1 Diabetes

Clinical safety trials of an implanted device that mimics insulin-producing pancreatic cells are currently underway for individuals with Type 1 diabetes. ViaCyte, a company in San Diego, inserts embryonic stem cells into a device that goes under the skin. When a patient’s blood sugar levels get too high, insulin is released.

In January 2018, 10 Canadians underwent treatment with the ViaCyte device. This comes after the first two people to receive ViaCyte devices were implanted in August 2017. The devices may negate the need for those with Type 1 diabetes to do pinprick blood tests on themselves or take insulin injections.Â

Stem Cell Fillings in Place of Root Canals

Those who hate the dentist, take note: New stem cell developments may eliminate the need for root canals in some patients. A new type of tooth filling made partially of stem cells can help a tooth that had a cavity begin to heal itself.

Root canal treatments require drilling out teeth all the way down to the root if the tooth continues to decay after a cavity filling. Stem cells can prevent this costly decay. Stem cell fillings could also mitigate the need for dental implants and dentures, as well as minimize tooth loss.Â

Stem Cells Combat HIV

Dr. Scott Kitchen, a UCLA AIDS Institute faculty member, has researched HIV, immune cells, and AIDS/HIV drugs in more than a dozen studies. He says that the cells that are effective in fighting HIV are stem cells. Because stem cells are able to regenerate repeatedly, they may be able to be used to destroy HIV and any related infections.

The inherent immune cells that are unable to ward off HIV, T-cells, may be replaced with new T-cells generated by stem cells. More than $74 million in research grants have been given to California research institutions for stem cell research for HIV and AIDS alone. Unlike medication that stops the spread of HIV, the possibility of eradicating it with stem cells is promising.

Regeneration of Stem Cell Research SuccessÂ

As more is learned about stem cells, more research can be applied to other medical issues. In addition to treatments for autism, type 1 diabetes, dental issues and HIV, stem cell research is also currently being worked on for:

  • Improved athletic performance
  • Regained use of limbs
  • Skin burns
  • Kidney treatmentsÂ

For families who want the best in health options, stem cell research and new treatments derived from it may help those in need.

Armin Brott

View posts by Armin Brott
Armin Brott is the proud father of three, a former U.S. Marine, a best-selling author, radio host, speaker, and one of the country’s leading experts on fatherhood. He writes frequently about fatherhood, families, and men's health. Read more about Armin or visit his website, You can also connect via social media: Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest,  and Linkedin.

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