Stem Cell Injection
- Stem cell injections are being used to treat all sorts of conditions these days. But do they work and are they worth the out of pocket expense?
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Brief overview of the episode:
Stem cell injections have been touted as a wonder treatment for things ranging from diabetes, ALS, Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s to cancers, stokes and burns. A good deal of the success in treating these ailments has been in the laboratory.
The excitement about stem cell injections in the future is certainly warranted as a stemcell is an undifferentiated cell that can become any other type of cell, blood, brain, heart, bone, nerve, muscle. However, there are three main ways to harvest stem cells.
Most individuals think of stem cell and think they come from embryos, amniotic fluid and umbilical cord blood. This is true but stem cells can also be harvested from adult bone marrow. Harvesting from adult bone marrow is actual more common in the treatment of orthopedic injuries. There are however issues associated with that. Unlike embryonic and perinatal stem cells, adult stem cells are limited in their versatility. So far they have really only shown the ability to effectively treat diseases of the blood.
The future uses for stem cells in medicine is a very exciting and likely outcome but at this time we have not reached a point where positive results are been seen with every condition treated.
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