October 8, 2014

As a parent, you want to be sure your child has the best possible options for healthcare treatments should they ever develop any kind of disease that is treatable with stem cell therapy. Many families choose cord blood banking for that exact reason. It give them peace of mind knowing those cells are there should they need them. In a perfect world, most parents would prefer that their child is NOT ever be in a situation where they are ill and would need them. But did you realize your child’s cord blood is valuable to them even after they become adults? That is because of the incredible advances in stem cell research and age-related therapies utilizing umbilical cord blood.

As adults grow older, many things begin to gradually happen to our aging bodies. The skin starts to lose its elasticity, we get wrinkles, sometimes our hair starts to gray, we lose muscle mass and our bones can begin to lose density. Also, in many adults, our vision and hearing begin to change or weaken. It is all part of aging. It’s usually a slow process, and everyone experiences the effects in different ways. It seems that trying to reverse or even slow down this progression is something that we, as humans, have continually been working on, sometimes for vanity’s sake, but more importantly, to address health concerns. We all desire to be as healthy and strong as possible. 

While there are many remedies on the market – some good, some bad, some effective, some not – a wide range of materials and methods are in place to help those who desire to improve their situation and quality of life. One of those “materials” are stem cells. The study of stem cells in the treatment of many aspects of aging is not a new concept. Many studies have shown that young stem cells, those from umbilical cord blood in particular, have especially shown promise as a therapy in this effort. 

For example, researchers are working to improve age-related vision problems, such as macular degeneration, a form of blindness that advances with age. In one ongoing study by StemCells, Inc., in California, researchers are utilizing stem cell therapy to combat this type of blindness1. In seven participants afflicted with varying stages of macular degeneration, researchers found that by utilizing a multipotent neural stem cell therapy, they were able to slow the progression of their retinal atrophy. Several of the participants not only had their condition slowed, but also showed vision improvement after one year. Those researchers won’t say that what they’ve accomplished is a cure yet, but that the results are promising.

 

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