Regenerative medicine seeks to find a cure for age related diseases. It is not a substitute for surgery or medicine but it enhances existing medical practices. It emphasizes on prevention of age related disorders and provides a platform for treatment. The field of regenerative medicine includes a vast area of study including stem cell therapies, gene therapy, nutrition, bio-proteins, and many others. The term’Regenerative Medicine’ can also be used for the field of Medical tourism whereby patients coming from other countries bring their diseased body back to UK for surgery or treatment. Houston Heights Regenerative Medicine-QC Kinetix (The Heights)
One of the most exciting areas of regenerative medicine is heart disease. Heart disease robs us of life; it robs us of quality of life. It leads to death and many treatments are available to prolong life. However, age often makes these treatments impossible and patients are left with either heart disease or terminal heart failure. Gene therapy has recently made some inroads to prolong life for people with heart disease; however, there are still challenges. One challenge is overcoming the rejection of stem cells by the immune system, another is finding a way of inserting genes without activating the human genome.
Scientists are currently researching cord blood stem cells for regenerative medicine. Cord blood cells are unique because they are obtained from the umbilical cord immediately after birth and contain specialized cells that are only produced in the pregnancy. Scientists are particularly interested in the cells found in the placenta and amniotic fluid. These cells are highly specialized and unique and hold enormous potential in repair of tissue damage caused by disease, injury or trauma.
Another area of interest in regenerative medicine is how to preserve the embryonic or stem cell material for future treatments. In the case of developing a child, a woman’s eggs must be harvested and either stored in a refrigerator or frozen for later use. Unfortunately, the freezing process destroys all stem cells, including those used for making daughter cells. In order to preserve the embryo, scientists have come up with an ingenious storage method. It is known as cord blood banking and it involves the storage of immature or developing embryos until their development to a full term. Daughter cells can then be used in the same manner as other child cells for transplants or research.
Scientists are currently trying to develop ways of implanting genetically engineered DNA into organs so they can create new tissue for treatment or diagnosis. If successful, this will restore many of the organs and tissues that have been damaged due to disease or injury. It is not known how far in the future this will happen, but with advances in regenerative medicine, the possibilities today are increasing rapidly.
Some illnesses are treatable through regenerative medicine techniques. Two of the most common examples are heart disease and lung cancer. Heart disease is primarily caused by buildup of fatty plaques in the arteries and is the number one cause of death in the United States. Lung cancer is treatable through surgery, radiation and chemotherapy. Scientists have developed a number of experimental treatments, some of which are currently being tested in clinical trials.
In addition to treating disease and illness, regenerative medicine techniques are also used for helping people to heal after injury or illness. Skin grafts have provided many people with new skin that has grown from the injured area. This treatment, however, does not provide any new tissue; it simply replenishes the area with healthy, new cells. Scientists are currently trying to develop ways of using stem cells from an individual’s own body to help in healing wounds or providing growth factors for growing new tissue in an injured area.