Blood diseases are some of the most common and life-threatening ailments in existence. Thanks to modern technology involving stem cells, many of these afflictions may soon be curable. Still, how can stem cells address these diseases and why are they so very effective in providing an alternative form of treatment?
A Unique Adaptation
To treat many diseases of the blood, stem cells can be harvested from healthy bone marrow or embryonic fluid. In particular, bone marrow stem cells will differentiate into three unique types which can then be inserted into the blood stream. These are:
- White blood cells.
- Red blood cells.
Each of these cells will help to treat a certain condition. For instance, red blood cells supply the body with life-giving oxygen. White blood cells are designed to stop the spread of infections and platelets are involved in the clotting mechanism. So, it is clear that replacing any defective cells with healthy stem cells can solve a host of different problems.
Currently, research is being carried out in hopes that numerous illnesses can be reversed or even prevented. These include leukaemia, aplastic anemia, clotting disorders such as haemophilia and sickle cell disease. In the near future, it is hoped that stem cells can all but eliminate the presence of these and other debilitating conditions.