You’ve likely heard the buzz lately about stem cell therapy and how it’s used to treat a variety of conditions, injuries, and diseases. But what exactly is stem cell therapy? And who are good candidates for its use?
Below are the core facts about the different types of stem cell therapy, how it’s used in treatment, and the benefits it can provide for patients in Logan, Utah.
What Are Stem Cells?
Stem cells are human cells from which all other cells—in their individual specialized functions—are generated. They are the only cells in the body that have the natural ability to generate new cell types. Stem cells are derived from embryos, amniotic fluid, and umbilical cord blood. Adult stem cells are also found in fully developed tissue like bone marrow or fat.
These specific cells are unique because they have the potential to develop into almost any type of cell. Under certain conditions, either in a laboratory or in the human body, stem cells can divide to form what’s called daughter cells. These cells either self-renew into new stem cells or become differentiated, specialized cells with their own specific function. Common examples are bone, brain, heart muscle, or blood cells.
What Can Stem Cells Be Used For?
There’s increased interest in stem cells for several different reasons. Research and watching how stem cells mature helps increase understanding about the development of certain diseases and conditions. Stem cells can also be used by researchers to test the safety and effectiveness of new drugs. Before using investigational drugs on people, researchers can use some types of stem cells to test the drugs for safety and quality.
Stem cell therapy is also commonly known as regenerative medicine because stem cells are used to generate healthy cells and replace damaged or diseased ones. Conditions treated with stem cell therapy include certain cancers, spinal cord injuries, arthritis, diabetes, heart disease, burns, stroke, chronic pain, fibromyalgia, cystic fibrosis, lupus, Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, and much more.
How Does Stem Cell Therapy Work?
Regenerative medicine has helped a lot of patients by repairing diseased or damaged tissue. Stem cell therapy could potentially be the next step forward in organ transplantation because it would use cells instead of donor organs, which are limited in supply.
Stem cells are grown in a lab by qualified researchers. They are then manipulated or guided to develop into specialized cells like nerve, blood, or muscle cells. These cells are then implanted or injected into a patient in their specific area of need. For example, cells can be injected into the heart muscle of a patient with heart disease to repair the defective areas.
While many people have heard of bone marrow transplants, few realize that this procedure is a stem cell therapy. In fact, it is the only stem cell therapy that is in common use today. Patients who suffer from cancer or other blood-related diseases often face bone marrow failure.
Stem Cell Therapy in Logan, Utah
While stem cell therapy can be controversial, it has been proven to be highly effective for a lot of people. At Spring Creek Medical Center, we administer stem cells through an IV or inject directly into the damaged area depending on the needs of the patient.
While each person is different, most see positive results within 3 to 6 months of treatment. Some notice improvement after as little as a few days or weeks.
Want to learn more about stem cell therapy and if it could be right for you? Our staff can help.