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This letter is to focus on the biological knowledge of stem cells and their significance in treating diseases that occur from injuries to the spinal cord. The aim of the letter is to motivate people to seek medication due to the effectiveness of using stem cells to spur recovery. Stem cells are still undifferentiated biological cells that experience differentiation into specialized cells and also undergo cell division to speed up replication. Okita et al. (2013) explains that stem cells are usually found in multicellular organisms. Stem cells are usually transplanted to cure bone marrow and blood disorders, and other immune diseases. Recently, these cells that come from the bloodstreams or umbilical cord are used for treating similar blood related diseases. However, research by Morrison et al. (2014) elaborates that the stem cells are collected or harvested through different processes that depend on the principal sources of the cells. These stem cells are harvested from the circulating blood, the blood from the umbilical cord, or from the bone marrow. But getting a stem cell is through isolation from an individual body in different ways that depend on the body tissues. For example, the blood stem cells can be harvested from the bone marrow of the donor, from the umbilical cord’s blood during the birth of an infant, of from the blood circulatory system of a client.

Okita et al. (2013) further explain that the stem cells are grouped into two categories. These include the embryonic or adult stem cells that originate from the embryos that have a lifespan of five days older. During this stage, the embryo is defined as the blastocyst with approximately 150 cells. Second is the Pluripotent or (Ploo-rip) stem cells are those that can undergo cell differentiation into more stem cells or differentiate into any type of cells within the body of living organisms. In addition to mesenchyme and tissue-specific stem cells. All these cells are essential for the general body organs and tissues operations. According to Morrison et al. (2014), the stem cells are different from other types of body cells. All the stems cells irrespective of their sources possess three core traits or properties. These include stem cells being capable of cell division and successfully replicating themselves after extended periods of time, the stem cells are unspecialized and adequately results into new specialized cells of different forms.

Differences between the Stem Cells

The Embryonic (somatic) stem cells

The Adult stem cells

Are differentiated cells

Are undifferentiated cells

Derived from the inners cells of the embryo after successful growth and development

Found throughout the entire body of living organisms

Are known as the pluripotent stem cells (Poole & Robertson, 2014)

Commonly known as the multipotent stem cells or the somatic cells

They undergo pre-implantation

They undergo active cells division and replication

Are derived from the five (5) days old embryo

Are derived from the adult tissue (Okita et al.,2013)

They replenish dying cells and help in regenerating of the damaged tissues

Propagates the cell division to regenerate the damaged cells and assists in the formation tissues and organs

The pros of the stem cells

They can increase healing of the individual particularly those suffering from the bone marrow diseases, and blood cancers. Morrison et al. (2014) explain that these cells are potentially essential in regenerating the entire organ of a given system from the new body cells and tissues. They increase the lifespan of the tissues and organs of their sources due to their numerous cells activities. Moreover, there are some diseases that can be treated by the stem cells. These include blood and an immune system related disease, system disorders and cancers, the occurrence of Parkinson’s blindness, juvenile diabetes, and injuries of the spinal cord

Cons of the stem cells

Using the human adult stems in therapy and research has never been considered controversial. The adult cells are more minute hence requires high power lenses to be viewed during the laboratory experiments and analysis as compared to the other cells. However, Okita et al. (2013) explain that using the embryonic stem cells in therapy and research is more controversial since they are obtained from a five-day-old human embryo. These embryos are generated by the In vitro fertility (IVF) clinics and dispensaries mainly for the scientific research and analysis.

How to Use Stem Cells in Treating Diseases and Injuries

The stem cells are used for treating many human diseases like blood cancers, diabetes, injuries of the spinal cord, and other body disorders. For example, a study by Poole and Robertson (2014) explains that the produced insulin from the stem cells is used to treat patients with various types of diabetes, heart muscle cells being used to repair damages that results from a heart attack. Based on the spinal cord injuries, the stem cells are used to successfully replace the damaged neurons due to the injuries of the spinal cord. The adult stem cells are the most preferred cells for treating spinal cord damages or injuries. The Institute of the stem cells originates from two primary sources that are the autologous mesenchymal and the CD34+ (The individual patient’s bone marrow) and the allogeneic mesenchymal (tissues of the own umbilical cord).According to Poole and Robertson (2014), the umbilical cords are always provided by mothers after their normal and healthy births. Since the disorders of the spinal cord injuries are severe and require active cells replacement, this letter encourages you to seek ways of using the stem cells as essential medication for your quick recovery.

References

Morrison, S. J., & Scadden, D. T. (2014). The bone marrow niche for haematopoietic stem cells. Nature, 505(7483), 327.

Okita, K., Yamakawa, T., Matsumura, Y., Sato, Y., Amano, N., Watanabe, A., ... & Yamanaka, S. (2013). An efficient nonviral method to generate integration‐free human‐induced pluripotent stem cells from cord blood and peripheral blood cells. Stem cells, 31(3), 458-466.

Poole, D., & Robertson, P. (2014). Spinal cord injury. Orthopaedic and Trauma Nursing: An Evidence-based Approach to Musculoskeletal Care, 251.

July 24, 2021

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