Stem cells and their usage in the treatment of pediatric diseases
Stem cells are a hot topic in the medical world, but they’re not just for adults. Stem cell research is an exciting and promising field of study that has incredible potential to treat a wide range of pediatric diseases.
Stem cells have the ability to grow into any type of cell in the body, which makes them incredibly useful for treating diseases like cancer and diabetes, which affect the entire body. But stem cells can also be used to treat heart disease, blood disorders like sickle cell anemia, neurological disorders like Alzheimer’s disease and motor neuron disease (ALS), as well as genetic diseases like cystic fibrosis.
The use of stem cells in treating pediatric diseases has been limited by their scarcity: they’re difficult to collect from umbilical cords or bone marrow, where they’re found in adults. But scientists have recently discovered a new source of stem cells: umbilical cord blood. Umbilical cord blood contains more than 70 different types of blood-forming cells—including white blood cells and red blood cells—and can be collected from newborns at birth when they’re still connected to their mother via the umbilical cord.