Stem cells may potentially be used as a "one-and-done" approach to restore function in people with heart-failure, a study has found. Reported in the journal Nature Biotechnology, the study showed human stem cell treatment can possibly return the hearts' functioning to better than 90 per cent of normal in macaque monkeys with heart attacks.
Heart-failure that causes nearly 10 million deaths worldwide, is a condition caused by lack of blood flow. The stem cells will help "form new muscle that will integrate into heart so it may pump vigorously again," said Charles "Chuck" Murry, Professor at the University of Washington.
According to medicalnewstoday.com, stem cells are a class of undifferentiated cells that are able to differentiate into specialized cell types. Commonly, stem cells come from two main sources: Embryos formed during the blastocyst phase of embryological development (embryonic stem cells); and, Adult tissue (adult stem cells). Both types are generally characterized by their potency, or potential to differentiate into different cell types (such as skin, muscle, bone, etc.).
These stem cells can be procured from a lot of different sources and used to potentially treat more than 80 disorders, including neuromuscular and degenerative disorders. It is surprising to know that therapy using stem cells from various sources, including those from bone marrow and umbilical cord, has been successfully used to treat a number of life threatening diseases with good results, since 1988.
Over the past few years, with increased research and development activities, a growing number of successful stem cell treatments have emerged. It has become one of the most exciting area of medicine, encompassing all areas of current medical science, according to http://www.reelabs.com.