Don't Forget About Stem Cells!

!!Stem Cell Research Volunteers Needed!!

First Off, What are Stem Cells?

Stem cells are undifferentiated cells that can transform into a specialized cell, if the need arises. The two main sources for stem cells are embryos (embryonic stem cells) and adult tissue (adult stem cells).

Where Do Stem Cells Come From?

Not all stem cells come from embryos as most people think. In fact, embryonic stem cells are among the smallest group of stem cells being researched. Stem cells can also be found in bone marrow, placenta and cord tissue, amniotic fluid, teeth, and umbilical cord blood.

Bone marrow stem cells is only found and can only be extracted from adults. It can only be obtained from under specific conditions determined by age and health.

Placenta and cord tissue stem cells are taken from the mesoderm during embryonic development.

Amniotic fluid stem cells can be taken from amniotic fluid during a pregnancy.

Teeth stem cells are one of the most low-risk cells to take.

Umbilical cord blood stem cells are one of the best options for people to take advantage of. It is uncontroversial, because medics at hospitals usually discard the cord, or parents take it home. However, parents can invest in preserving the cord to be used later in the child's life, if something happens.

Potential Stem Cell Therapies

A possible therapy we would like to test is transplanting neural stem cells (found in the brain) into the brain of an Alzheimer's patient. The stem cells could make healthy, new neurons.

The new neural cells could produce a healthy amount of neurotrophin to the brain, which is a protein that helps the neuron grow and develop. Alzheimer's patients have a low production of neurotrophin. So, by replacing the damaged cells, the brain could possibly go back to an unaffected brain, in due time.

A Small Issue in Stem Cell Research

As of now, no possible treatments for Alzheimer's disease have been discovered. Neurons are spread throughout the brain, and the brain controls all bodily functions. If something were to go wrong, it could potentially affect other parts of the body.

There are many things to do before reaching a breakthrough in stem cell treatment for Alzheimer's patients, including exploring damaged areas, which could potentially cause more damage. Also, trying to produce the multiple neurons necessary to replace the lost cells so the new neurons can make connections in the brain will take time.

Who is Eligible to Volunteer?

The best candidates for our research would be early stage patients, for their brains would not have developed as much of the disease as late stage patients. However, if you do fall into the latter category, please do come in. We need to research all areas of the brain at all different stages to see if the stem cell therapy could possibly have an affect on you.