Understanding Cord Blood and Stem Cells

Cord blood is obtained from the umbilical cord at the time of childbirth.

The blood has to be collected within 10 minutes of the birth. Cord blood is one of the richest sources of the stem cells. Stem cells have proved to be a boom for the mankind thanks to the so much research work carried out by various medical organizations.

Stem cells are the basic building blocks of our immune system. The stem cells have the ability to transform into other cells thus enabling normal growth of a human body. That is why they are required for the treatment of so many diseases.

The stem cells from cord blood are important because these cells are young and adaptive and thus they easily adapt according to the person and do not face the risk of rejection, where as the stem cells taken from the bone marrow does not have this ability and thus they face the problem of high rejection rate and it becomes a very cumbersome and tiring task to find the matching set of marrow.

Therefore stem cells from the cord blood are preferred over the stem cells from the bone marrow. Since 1968, cord blood is being used for various life saving treatments. Due to the promising research associated with the stem cells the numbers of diseases that can be treated using stem cells are growing rapidly.

Stem cells are used for treatment of acute leukemia, anemia and other various types of blood cancers. Stem cells are also used in treatment of other cancers such as brain cancer, ovarian cancer, testicular cancer, small-cell lung cancer and the list goes on. The stem cells are very helpful in treating various disorders related to blood.

Stem cells also find their uses in treatment of various kinds of genetic disorders and metabolic disorders like Hunter Syndrome, Wolman disease, Krabbe disease, Sandhoff disease etc. Many of these diseases have not been heard off but these all are dangerous diseases and can prove to be fatal if not treated timely.

The emerging applications and uses of the cord blood are countless that is why cord blood is treated very preciously these days. As the stem cells are required for proper development of the organs therefore research has been advanced even to the avenues of treatment of brain injury and bone marrow failure disorders. Beside this research is being carried out for finding the cure of various heart diseases, cerebral palsy and type I diabetes.

Many parents due to shear lack of knowledge waste this valuable resource. To avoid this various cord blood organizations have been set up and also large number of cord blood banks have been opened.

The research in the field of stem cells is a promising prospect and the researchers are trying to uncomplicate the number of problems that are coming in the way of successfully using this resource. With all the possible help and funding these researchers are getting from the government, they actually might succeed in getting rid of all these problems.

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