Stem Cells are also known as regenerative cells as they have the great ability of regeneration. These are biological cells and found in the various tissues like blood, liver, skeletal muscles, skin, bone marrow and brain. These cells have the capability to discriminate between other specialized cells by the process of cellular differentiation. These cells provide a repair mechanism to the human body by regenerating cells.
Types of Stem Cells
There are different types of stem cells which are formed in different parts of our body. Mainly we have four kinds of stem cells:
Embryonic Stem Cells: These cells have the ability to develop into any kind of body cell except umbilical cord and placenta. These are derived from blastocyst i.e. after the 3-5 days of fertilization. At this stage, embryo consists of around 150 cells. In order to get the desired cell, these cells need specific instructions.
Adult Stem Cells: These are also called as Somatic cells found inside the tissues or organs in a specific area. These can be found in blood vessels, brain, gut, skeletal muscles, heart, bone marrow, liver, skin, testis and epithelium of ovaries. Their role is maintenance and repair of tissues. Leukemia and blood or bone cancers (bone marrow transplants) have been treated successfully for many years by stem cell therapies.
Fetal Stem Cells: These cells can be taken from bone marrow, placenta, fetal blood or fetal tissue like liver and kidney. Fetal blood is highly enriched with HSC i.e. Haemopoietic Stem cells. These cells have a higher potential of differentiation in comparison to adult stem cells. Clinical research shows that these cells can be helpful in the treatment of respiratory disease, renal problems, skeletal dysplasia and even cancer.
Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells: These cells are derived from fully specialized older cells like skin cells. These are helpful in the in the testing and development of new therapies and drugs.
Now, let’s talk about COPD and Stem Cell Therapy.
COPD means Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease i.e. lung disease, breathlessness or tiredness. Smoking and air pollution are primary causes but genetics, more exposure to dust or chemicals can also cause COPD. Currently, there is no cure for this disease but there are some treatments and medicines for the good life of the patient and to decrease the growth of the disease.
Clinical research at US and Canada suggest that stem cells can cure a number of fatal and incurable diseases like COPD but none of them provides any scientific proofs yet. Food and Drug Administration of US and COPD foundation do not advise stem cell therapy for COPD until there is scientific proof for their effectiveness and encourage the people to take part in the clinical trials for testing and development of stem cell therapy and techniques.
On the other hand, this is proved and experimented in many trials that, stem cells possess the ability to replace uncountable body cells including lung tissue. Stem cell therapy prevents the lung damage and improves the life of the patient. To treat the injury or disease stem cells are introduced into the damaged cell. The improvements after the stem cell therapy vary in different bodies otherwise 82% of the treated patients have improvements in their life.
Stem cell treatment has proved successful when treated for the following symptoms of COPD:
- Difficult breathing
- Low energy level
- Daily task performance
- Mood enhancement
- Supplement oxygen