June 08, 2015

In what could be a major breakthrough for stem cell research and the medical community, researches have created a tested technique for growing the key working tissue in the human brain in a dish. While this does not offer complete insight into the complexity of the entire human brain, it does give scientists the ability to understand disorders of brain circuitry and an understanding of how stem cells might be used in treatment. This breakthrough in stem cell research will enable medical professionals to develop and safely test new treatment methods for individuals with different disorders of the brain, before they are applied.

These tiny 3D cerebral cortex structures that scientists are constructing via stem cell research function much like the outer mantle of the human brain from which they were derived. They have many potential uses, much like umbilical cord blood that is collected after a mother’s stages of pregnancy and used for anemia treatment or other purposes. These brain models could potentially be used to study the brain circuitry of people who suffer from different types of neurological disorders. In the future, cord blood may also play a role in this. This would give scientists the capability to engineer personalized treatments custom structured for each individual person and the disease they are suffering from, which is similar to what umbilical cord blood banking can accomplish.

In a similar manner, stem cells that are collected through umbilical cord blood banking after a mother’s pregnancy stages can be used to form new types of cells, which can be used to treat illnesses and disorders in the person they were derived from, or a close relative who is a match for receiving these cord blood cells. This amazing breakthrough in stem cell research shows us that as capabilities advance, there is essentially no ceiling to what can be accomplished. This gives expecting mothers a key incentive to store their child’s cord blood stem cells through CariCord’s private umbilical cord blood banking process once they complete their stages of pregnancy.

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June 05, 2015

Alzheimer’s disease is a progressive brain disorder that slowly destroys memory, critical thinking skills, and the ability to carry out certain tasks. It is very common, affecting millions of Americans, particularly senior citizens over young adults in their early stages of pregnancy who are considering cord blood banking. Alzheimer’s disease, otherwise known as “AD,” is named after Dr. Alois Alzheimer, who noticed changes in the brain tissue of a woman who died in 1906 of a peculiar mental illness. After her death, he became aware that her symptoms involved memory loss, speech problems, and unpredictable behavior. He then examined her brain.

One of the pathological characteristics of AD is extracellular deposition of insoluble amyloid-β plaques and intracellular tangles in the brain, composed of phosphorylated tau. While there is currently no cure for AD, it is manageable, and scientists are currently engaged in stem cell research to find potential treatments, a few of which involve cord blood that mothers chose to donate to a public cord blood bank during their pregnancy stages. Several therapeutic approaches are being tested in animal AD models in order to evaluate their safety and potential use in humans. These therapies would alter the disease pathology and behavioral deficits, and it is possible that cord blood could be used for some of them, which is why it is important for expecting mothers to consider an umbilical cord blood banking service during their stages of pregnancy.

Cord blood banks are growing worldwide, but presently, there is not an overabundance of studies that have been conducted to evaluate whether or not cord blood is a viable treatment option for AD. However, as stem cell research continues to grow, there will likely be many researchers who will conduct these studies. Cord blood is currently used to treat more than 80 diseases, including cancer and anemia treatment, so it is a good idea to consider banking your child’s cord blood during your pregnancy stages. By the time they are older and more at risk for AD, cord blood may be a viable treatment option. The decision to bank your child’s cord blood (so that using it to treat AD or any other disease is even an option), is one that expecting mothers must make during their stages of pregnancy. Remember, cord blood already treats more than 80 diseases, and can be used for anemia treatment and other blood disorders.

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June 03, 2015

Cerebral palsy (CP) is a chronic disorder that impairs one’s control of movement due to brain damage. About 10,000 infants and 1,500 preschoolers in the United States are diagnosed with CP each year, and more than 764,000 Americans overall have this condition. Many stem cell researches are currently looking for ways to treat CP utilizing stem cells collected via umbilical cord banking. These cells, which an expecting mother decides to “bank” through CariCord during her stages of pregnancy, can be used for anemia treatment and potentially cerebral palsy as well.

One study* evaluated the efficiency of using stem cells taken from umbilical cord blood to treat patients with cerebral palsy. This trial was randomized, placebo-controlled, and double-blind, for added accuracy in its results. The trial consisted of 36 children with CP, from the ages of 6 months to 20 years. These children were either treated with umbilical cord blood or a placebo. After treatment, researches evaluated muscle strength and gross motor function at months 1, 3, and 6. The patients cytokine and receptor levels were quantitated in serial blood samples.

The end result of this treatment showed that the patients who received the cord blood showed greater improvements in their muscle strength, as well as in their gross motor performance. PET scans also revealed decreased periventricular inflammation in those who received the cord blood, compared to those who received the placebo instead. Cord blood was also shown to improve motor outcomes and induced systemic immune reactions and anti-inflammatory changes in the brain.

Overall, the results of this study and stem cell research are very positive in terms of developing a therapy that can affectively treat cerebral palsy in infants and children. While future trials are needed to confirm whether or not umbilical cord blood can be a sustainable treatment for CP, this research indicates that stem cell research is already moving in that direction.

Soon, cord blood may be an option for treating CP, in addition to cancer, leukemia, anemia treatment, and more than 80 different diseases. Because it can only be collected at the birth of a child after a mother’s stages of pregnancy, it is important for expecting mothers to make the decision during their pregnancy stages to store their child’s cord blood in CariCord’s secure umbilical cord blood bank. Once the child is born, the option to store cord blood for future use is no longer available; it is a decision expecting parents must make during their stages of pregnancy.

*Mr. Mino Kang, Prof. Kyunghoon Min, Dr. Joonyoung Jang, Mr. Seung Chan Kim, Prof. Myung Seo Kang, Prof. Su Jin Jang, Prof. Ji Young Lee, Prof. Sang Heum Kim, Dr. Moon Kyu Kim, Seong Soo A. An, and Prof. MinYoung Kim. Stem Cells and Development. -Not available-, ahead of print. http://online.liebertpub.com/doi/abs/10.1089/scd.2015.0074

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June 01, 2015

As you may know as you explore our website and answer the question, “What is stem cell research?”, umbilical cord blood is rich in hematopoietic stem cells. These cells are different from the controversial embryonic stem cells you may have heard about on the news, and are collected in a manner that is safe and painless. Once an expecting mother chooses umbilical cord blood banking during her stages of pregnancy, a kit is sent to her home, which the doctor uses to collect the cord blood during delivery. This cord blood can be used to provide treatments and possibly cures for more than 80 diseases, including types of cancer, leukemia, and anemia treatment.

In addition to being a rich source of hematopoietic stem cells, cord blood also contains progenitor cells. Together, these cells are referred to as “HSPC” within the medical community. When low numbers of these HSPC cells are found in banked units of cord blood, there are solutions. Common ways of ex vivo HSPC expansion or improving HSPC homing to the bone marrow are two common methods. Other methods include optimizing coculture systems, cytokine cocktails, and delivery systems for HSPC-expansion genes. These are ways that stem cell research is improving umbilical cord blood banking.

Cord blood HSPC can be engrafted in the area where they are needed either short-term or long-term. Homing effectors can be used to promote engraftment. Molecules that enhance homing of HSPC may represent a complementary approach to improve and perhaps accelerate engraftment. Optimization of the next generation of HSPC expansion may support a paradigm shift in cord blood transplantation, so that the cord blood cells used may match better with the existing cells in the area in which they are being transplanted.

As this stem cell research continues to expand, umbilical cord blood banking will likely become a more effective option for anemia treatment and therapies for other diseases and disorders. This is why it is important for expecting mothers to consider cord blood banking during their pregnancy stages, because once their stages of pregnancy are complete and they have given birth, it is too late to collect and store their child’s cord blood for possible future use.

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