Stem cell therapy is a relatively new process for treating certain diseases and chronic conditions. Stem cells are considered to be valuable for treatment due to their ability to “differentiate” or convert into different types of cells found within the body.
Stem cells are often gathered from a patient’s body, typically through their adipose (fat) or bone marrow tissues, or from a donor source. It’s important to note, however, that the term “stem cell” refers to many different cell types.
In this guide, we’ll provide a quick primer on the various types of stem cells.
Adult Stem Cells
Adult stem cells (ASC) are cells found within certain tissues in the human body that can regenerate themselves or create new cells.
The term “ASC” can be further broken down into different types, as well:
- Hematopoietic stem cells
- Mesenchymal stem cells
- Neural stem cells
- Epithelial stem cells
- Skin stem cells
These cells are important because they can replenish or replace dead or damaged tissues within the body. These cells are found in most tissues of the human body. Adult stem cells are present in the body to create cells that can replace tissues that are lost through disease, injuries, or normal tissue degeneration.
Embryonic Stem Cells
Embryonic stem cells, also known as ESCs, are a special type of stem cell. These cells only exist during the first stages of embryonic development. Three to five days after fertilization, embryos contain an inner cell mass that is capable of generating any type of specialized tissue that can make up a human body.
It is important to note that ESCs, due to controversial factors, are not used for access therapy and are only used in approved research.
Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells
These cells, also called iPSCs, are stem cells that are created in laboratories. Induced pluripotent stem cells are created by introducing embryonic genes into what is called a “somatic” cell, which is a term that refers to all cells within the human body with the exception of germs.
Introducing embryonic genes to somatic cells causes them to revert to a stem-cell-like state. Scientists need more research to determine potential uses for this type of cell.
This post was written by a medical professional at Stemedix Inc. At Stemedix we provide access to Regenerative Medicine for ALS, also known as Stem cell treatment for ALS. Regenerative medicine has the natural potential to help improve symptoms sometimes lost from the progression of many conditions.