Benefits for the body
Saturday, August 18, 2001
Researchers are growing dopamine-producing brain cells to see if they can treat or cure Parkinson's patients. They also hope to grow replacement brain tissue for other neurodegenerative diseases such as multiple sclerosis and Alzheimer's.
Cataract patients can benefit from corneal transplants grown from stem cells.
Stem cells may be able to regenerate heart muscle to repair the organ after cardiac arrest.
Doctors already use stem cells to grow skin grafts for patients with burns or wide gashes. Montreal researchers have also found that the skin is a rich source of multipotent stem cells.
Patients with leukemia, anemia and immunodeficiencies have been treated by replacing their bone marrow.
Patients with Type 1 diabetes have been treated by transplanting insulin-producing islet cells. Now researchers hope to grow islet cells for implantation from stem cells.
Liver cells are being grown with the prospect of replacing liver tissue damaged by toxins or alcohol.
Embryonic stem cells have already grown into kidney cells in the lab, and doctors hope that one day the process will allow them to replace the organ damaged by kidney disease or failure.
Scientists have grown this bladder-control muscle from stem cells in a rat and next year hope to test it in an elderly patient with urinary incontinence.
Source: Carolyn Abraham
Stem cells from both embryos and adults have grown into connective tissue, raising the prospect that aching joints may some day be replaced with brand new ones.