Stem cell research is advancing at a breakneck pace, with possible treatments for incurable human illnesses on the horizon. Clinical studies for stem cell–based therapies for blindness, spinal cord injury, heart disease, Parkinson’s disease, and other conditions are currently beginning, with some promising early findings. The scientific community is driven by a feeling of urgency, and there is much optimism for ultimately curing illnesses that have remained untreatable.
But don’t take everything you learn about stem cells at face value.
Advertisements and fictitious news stories tout stem cell therapies for anything from Alzheimer’s illness, autism, and ALS to cerebral palsy and other ailments. The assertions are simply false, and they are spread by individuals looking to profit from a desperate and naïve or uninformed audience. Patients and their families may be deceived by misleading marketing by untrained doctors who frequently lack medical qualifications and provide no scientific proof to back up their claims. In many instances, the cells used aren’t genuine stem cells at all.
One of the most common misunderstandings regarding stem cell treatments is that injured tissues and nerves would be repaired right away. When stem cells are introduced into a damaged area of the body, they immediately go to work. However, you may not notice any major differences right away. It may take a few days or even weeks for the afflicted bodily part to show signs of alteration. The changes, however, begin immediately and last for many weeks or even months while your body regrows injured organs.
Unlike conventional treatment techniques like as surgery and organ transplantation, stem cell therapy is less expensive and includes less intrusive procedures. Depending on the disease being treated, stem cell treatments may cost anywhere from a few hundred dollars to thousands of dollars. Organ replacement procedures, on the other hand, may easily cost hundreds of thousands of dollars and have a lower success rate than stem cell treatment.
More than 3,000 studies using adult stem cells have been registered in the WHO International Clinical Trials Registry to far. In addition, preliminary studies incorporating the exciting new iPSC-based treatments have been filed.