What is regenerative medicine?
Though there have been many breakthroughs in medicine, there are still a lot of medical conditions especially among the aging population that needs to be addressed. Effective treatments are available for many diseases and injuries, but when it comes to degenerative conditions like osteoarthritis, many practitioners can only manage the patient’s symptoms with medications and orthotics.
Fortunately, a branch of medicine called regenerative medicine makes use of the body’s own healing potential to repair damaged tissues, bones and organs, treating conditions that were thought to be incurable.
The first organ and bone marrow transplant marked the birth of regenerative medicine. This practice isn’t actually new but new technologies involving cell biology, immunology, and other fields have unlocked new treatment opportunities to improve existing regenerative therapies.
Regenerative medicine focuses on:
Rejuvenation: This involves improving the body’s own ability to repair itself. This also includes specialized cells such as nerve, heart and lung tissue, which were thought to be unable to divide, can actually self-heal.
Regeneration: This implicate the use of specific cells which are then introduced to damage tissues or organs, these cells will eventually repair and restore tissue and organ function. Examples of this include stem cell and PRP therapy and bone marrow transplants.
Stem cell and its role in regenerative medicine
Stem cells are unique cells that have the ability to form into any type of cell. Stem cells initially are undifferentiated when extracted from amniotic fluid or the patient’s own blood, but when introduced to a specific part of the body -- particularly damaged tissue -- these cells have the capacity to change or differentiate to the specific type of cells it is introduced into and repair tissue damage. Simply put, when stem cells are introduced to an osteoarthritic joint, the cells attaches to the eroded cartilage and grow new cartilage.
Stem cell therapy is a key component of regenerative medicine that has opened new possibilities in treating diseases that were thought to be incurable. Chronic and progressive degenerative conditions can now be reversed with the help of regenerative medicine.
via Wikimedia Commons
WHAT IS STEM CELL THERAPY?
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