Stem cells

Stem Cells: What Should You Know About It

Baby Care, Pregnancy, Pregnant

Congratulations on your pregnancy. If you are reading about stem cells, then I am sure you must have heard about it somewhere and what to know more about it. Read on to find more about stem cells and stem cell banking.

What are Stem Cells And Why Are They Important?

Stem cells are unspecialized cells with remarkable potential. These cells can develop into many different cell types in our body by dividing themselves and replenishing other cells. This nature of stem cells makes them act as an internal repair system forming other cell types like red blood cells, brain cells or muscle cells, performing specialized functions.

One of the major characteristics of stem cell is that, despite inactive for a very long time, they can be made to become organ or tissue cells and perform specific functions. Stem cells can be used to repair or replace damaged tissues or organs like gut and bone marrow, pancreas and heart.

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Type of Stem Cells

Stem Cells are of 2 main types:

  • Embryonic stem cells
  • Adult stem cells

Embryonic Stem Cells

Embryonic stem cells as the name suggests is derived from embryos.

Adult Stem Cells

Adult stem cells can renew itself and become major specialized tissue or organ cell types thus help in repairing damaged tissues.

Importance of Stem Cells and Why Stem Cell Banking Should be Done

In an embryo, stem cell from the entire body with organs like lungs, heart, skin and other tissues and in adults these cells can be used to replace the damaged cells in muscle, brain, and bone marrow. This nature of regeneration in stem cells makes them useful in treating diabetes, heart disease and other diseases.

Stem cells can be retrieved from 3 parts of the body

  • Peripheral blood
  • Bone marrow and
  • Umbilical cord

The Umbilical cord blood is a ready source of stem cells and cells preserved at the time of birth can be used for treatments like Leukemia, Lymphoma, Thalassemia, Neuroblastoma and so on, when required.

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How Does Umbilical Cord Stem Cells Banking Works?

The probability of an individual diagnosed with a disease treatable by stem cells is 13%, so if there are 8 members in the family including siblings, grandparents, parents etc the probability rises to 40% hence stem cell banking is important and should be done.

Let’s understand how stem cell banking works:

  1. Parents preserve their baby’s umbilical cord stem cells with one of the stem cell banks. In India, LifeCell is one of the leading stem cell banks
  2. The preserved umbilical cord blood stem cells can be collected from the stem cell banks on need basis

Stem cell banking are making a lot of news and scientists are working on developing potential treatments to help patients using stem cells.

In the third trimester of pregnancy, it is likely to have high SGPT and SGOT levels. If you are also diagnosed with high levels of SGPT and SGOT, then read our article.

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