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Stem Cell Treatment for Spinal Cord Injuries: The New Frontier
However, in recent years a pioneering new technology has emerged that is helping thousands of people around the world regain part, if not all, of their previously lost mobility. That treatment is the use of stem cells.
What are Stem Cells and Stem Cell Treatments?
Stem cells are found in all multi cellular organisms and are characterized by their ability to differentiate into a diverse range of specialized cells when they divide and renew themselves. They are remarkable for their ability to regenerate themselves into almost any other human cell. Their use in the treatment of various diseases and conditions, from Leukemia to Multiple Sclerosis, is now becoming more common. Depending on the condition, stem cells can be transplanted into the patient to help renew and regenerate previously damaged cells, giving patients renewed hope when, before, no reliable treatment existed.
Phase one involves the harvesting of stem cells. The cells are extracted from a fetus's umbilical cord. They are then put through a process whereby they are isolated and purified before they are finally cultured to be suitable for clinical use.
Phase three involves the monitoring of the patient to make sure there are no adverse side effects. The only side effects reported to date were caused by the lumbar puncture, and not the stem cell treatment itself, with only 15% of patients reporting mild headaches. During the time under medical supervision, patients undergo various physiotherapy activities and other treatments as necessary.
Stem Cell Research and Treatment in China
China is fast becoming a world leader in stem cell research, and is now a major centre for the stem cell treatment of many diseases and conditions. The Chinese government has poured many millions of dollars into research on regenerative medicine, and that investment has really borne fruit in the last few years. As a result of this expanded investment, Chinese contributions to scientific journals on regenerative medicine topics leapt from 37 in year 2000 to 1,116 in 2008, exceeded only by the contributions of experts in the USA, Germany, Japan and the UK.
The government has also aggressively recruited high-caliber scientists trained abroad in pursuit of its ambition to become a world leader in the field. Indeed, the McLaughlin-Rotman Centre for Global Health commented that, "the government's policy of attracting highly educated Chinese nationals back to China has contributed significantly to the country's success in the field." The authors were "amazed that almost all the top Chinese researchers in the regenerative medicine field had been educated in the US and the UK and gained extensive working experience there in cutting edge research."
Furthermore, Chinese researchers are currently involved with a myriad of projects to help aid patients through regenerative medicine and stem cell therapy. Below are several projects underway within Chinese institutions:
Click here Macquarie Stem Cells to know more about Stem Cell Treatment,Stem Cell and Adult Stem Cell Foundation.