It is difficult to determine when or who first discovered stem cells precisely. Yet, the pioneering work of Ernest McCulloch and James Till was a significant milestone in the field. They were the first scientists to advance a rigorous description of stem cells. This was in a 1960s experiment with mice. Their efforts led to the discovery of the hematopoietic stem cell (HSC).
By 2020, scientists had discovered over 30 stem cell subtypes. These cells show the capacity to restore damaged tissues. Thus, stem cell therapy is now a potent tool for fighting untreatable human diseases. Indeed, stem cell therapy has become a viable area of medical science. It offers great hope in several areas, including molecular and regenerative medicine.
In theory, stem cell research has the potential to treat all types of diseases. Hence, a growing number of potential therapies are being tested in clinical trials. They will add to the significant number of available stem cell therapies.
What Exactly is Stem Cells Therapy?
Stem cell therapy is a kind of regenerative medicine. It aims to treat diverse ailments by exploiting the natural healing ability of the body. In other words, stem cells can regenerate areas of the body. This is why they are helpful in various medical conditions. Treatment is non-surgical and can be for inflamed, damaged, or diseased tissues. Some of the conditions treated with stem cells and extra growth factors include:
- Autoimmune conditions
- Neurological conditions
- Sports injuries
- Spinal injuries
Do you need attention for any of these conditions or more? If yes, then find your way to R3 Health, especially if you are located in the West Palm Beach and North Palm Beach areas of Florida.
How Stem Cell Therapy Works
The stem cell therapy process is simple. This is unlike invasive surgery that can bring about various forms of complications. Stem cell therapy involves the use of cells from your own body. Hence, the chances of immune rejection are minimal.
The therapy starts with a physician reaching your bone marrow to extract stem cells. This activity is often conducted around the hip area. Before extraction, the area is first tidied up and made numb. The physician will then insert a needle around your iliac crest.
With a special syringe, your bone marrow is subsequently aspirated and the sample taken to a lab. There, medical equipment spins the sample for between 10 to 15 minutes. This results in a concentrated stem cell sample. The part of the body meant for treatment is also tidied up and made numb.
With special x-ray equipment, the stem cells are then injected into the area that needs healing. Stem cell therapy is usually a short process that shouldn’t take up to 60 minutes. This means that you can return to your home the same day you undergo therapy.
Post Therapy Care
If you are a worker, there’s no need to fear stem cell therapy preventing you from work. This is because of the possibility of resuming work immediately after treatment. But be sure not to lift heavy items for at least a fortnight after the process. It is also important not to ingest non-steroidal, anti-inflammatory medications for a while. Such substances may negatively impact the healing process.
If you reside around the West Palm Beach and North Palm Beach areas of Florida (and beyond), R3 Health is one medical organization that can offer you both in-depth counsel on how stem cell therapy works as well as provide you with highly effective treatment options.
Types of Stem Cells
Stem cells have two similar attributes: self-renewal and differentiation. The former means an ability to make copies of themselves. The latter implies an ability to develop into more specialized cells. Despite these two essential abilities, some dissimilarities also exist among them.
Embryonic Stem Cells
These stem cells form in the blastocyst, a hollow ball of cells that emerges between 72 to 120 hours after fertilizing an egg by a sperm. The blastocyst is what later becomes the embryo. Cell differentiation begins with the implanting of the embryo in the uterus. This type of stem cell differentiates into more cell types than the adult type. Embryonic stem cells are pluripotent. This means they can differentiate into every cell type in the human body apart from the placenta and umbilical cord cells.
Adult Stem Cells
Adult stem cells are also known as tissue-specific or somatic stem cells. They start forming as soon as the embryo emerges and can be found in adult tissues like bone marrow. They are not as abundant as embryonic cells. Scientists previously believed that tissue-specific cells could not differentiate into other cells. But this notion no longer holds, according to recent research. For instance, bone marrow cells can differentiate into brain cells, etc.
Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells
These are adult cells that are genetically programmed to exhibit the characteristics of embryonic stem cells. They help scientists in the invention and testing of new therapies and medications, among other uses. Notable advancements in this field include reprogramming regular connective tissue cells into functional heart cells in animals. Injecting these new heart cells into animals with failing hearts led to improvements in heart function and survival time.
Perinatal Stem Cells
Perinatal stem cells were discovered in amniotic fluid and umbilical cord blood. Amniotic fluid is found in the sac that surrounds and protects a growing fetus in the womb. One of their characteristics is the ability to develop into specialized cells. This area requires more scientific scrutiny for further comprehension of the potentials of amniotic fluid stem cells.
Mesenchymal Stem Cell (MSC)
Mesenchymal stromal cells are rare, non-hematopoietic progenitor cells of mesodermal and neuroectodermal derivation. At birth, these cells can be found in certain tissue niches, usually in a perivascular distribution.
MSCs can be used to develop new body tissues such as cartilage, bone, and fat cells. There is a possibility of using them to tackle a broad range of health challenges in the future.
Classification of Stem Cells by Differentiation Potential
- Totipotent stem cells
- Pluripotent stem cells
- Multipotent stem cells
- Oligopotent stem cells
- Unipotent stem cells
To conclude, it is clear that stem cell therapy is an important part of medical science, both now and in the future. In a world continuously faced with a plethora of health challenges, all viable options must be on the table.
For all your stem cell therapy needs in West Palm Beach and North Palm Beach, Florida, and elsewhere, chat with R3 Health today! We are available 24 hours a day and can talk with you from any part of the world.