Stem Cell Research
Stem cells are cells that can grow and differentiate into other types of cells. These cells have great potential for the treatment of various disorders such as cancer or Parkinson’s disease where the body cannot regenerate healthy cells to cure the disease. Stem cell research has been going on for a long time, and there have been great breakthroughs in the research. One such breakthrough has been the use of stem cells in the rejuvenation of neural cells of monkeys suffering from Parkinson’s disease. Scientists have used induced pluripotent cells to form some types of brain cells that have been damaged by the disease. Parkinson’s disease is caused by the degeneration of specific brain cells that control motor functions and mood. Researchers have previously been able to restore motor functions in rats that have shown characteristic symptoms of Parkinson’s disease by using dopamine neurotransmitters grown from human induced pluripotent cells. In spite of this, there has not been any investigation on the long-term effects of the use of this practice on the primates.
A study done by Jun Takahashi was done to evaluate the safety and applicability of the practice in primates. Human induced pluripotent cells were used to generate dopamine neurons which were transplanted into primates that had been induced to have the Parkinson’s disease. The primates showed increasing spontaneous increase in the motor cells after transplantation and complete functioning in the midbrain. There was no long-term effect of the cells on the primates after two years since no brain tumors were observed (Sandoiu, 2017). This information is critical as it has opened a gateway to the treatment of Parkinson’s disease. The study shows that once more research is done this could be a method to treat people suffering from the disease and will help to relieve human suffering. The study has unlocked one of the many possibilities of the use of stem cell research and will, therefore, earn it more favor and support from the public.
A study was done on mice by Hai Nguyen, Aileen Anderson and colleagues found that mice receiving stem cells grown from human brain tissue required the depletion of some types of immune cells to improve the motor skills of the mice. The donor cells survived equally when transplanted either immediately or after a month after the injury. Their location however continuously changed and this suggested that the cells were populating the spinal cord at different times after the injury and it affected the ability of the transplants to provide functional recovery of the motor skills (Society for Neuroscience. 2017). This means that the stem cells could be used in the treatment of a destroyed spinal cord and restore motor skills to the patient.
This news is essential to the medical field. Many people have been crippled after being in an accident that fractures their spine. This news has provided a technique to aid such individuals such that they can one day regain their ability to walk. Continued research on the subject will provide an applicable therapeutic practice that will help alleviate human suffering and improve the lives of many people.
This news also serves to educate the public on the wide applicability of the stem cells. The public is averse to stem cell research, and this news will help to increase the acceptance of the practice. The acceptance of the research by the public will open up more avenues for the research and will allow the exploitation of the stem cells in the medical field. This will be beneficial not just to the public but to the generations to come.
Another study has also brought light on the usefulness of the stem cells in the regeneration of aging heart muscles. Scientists from the Cedars-Sinai Heart Institute in Los Angeles CA injected aged rats with specialized stem cells sourced from newborns. The stem cells rejuvenated the cardiac muscles of the older rats and improved heart function and exercise capacity of the rats (Paddock, 2017). This information is essential to the medical world. Heart disease has been proven to be among the top killers of the American population. Aging, coupled with other diseases such as diabetes and high blood pressure tends to cause cardiovascular diseases which are the leading causes of deaths among the people in this bracket. This research has shown great promise in the medical field. The stem cells could be used to help regenerate the damaged cardiac cells, and this would eventually help to improve the cardiac health of these individuals. This could save the lives of many of the American citizens and people around the world. It will also increase people’s faith in the stem cell research which will provide increased possibilities to use the stem cells as cures for various ailments that afflict humanity.
Paddock, C. (2017, August 14). Specialized stem cells may rejuvenate aged hearts. Medical News Today. Accessed on 2017, August 14. Retrieved from: https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/318940.php
Sandoiu, A. (2017, August 31). Parkinson’s: Stem cells restore nerve function in monkeys. Medical News Today. Accessed on 2017, August 31. Retrieved from: https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/319172.php
Society for Neuroscience. (2017, August 28). Using donor stem cells to treat spinal cord injury: Immune cells populating spinal cord after injury affect ability of stem cells to promote recovery. Science Daily. Retrieved September 18, 2017 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/08/170828131733.html