There are many potential benefits achievable through cord blood stem cells, as they are used to treat various types of blood disorders and diseases. Medical experts continually research how cord blood stem cells can potentially improve various conditions and ailments, including Type 1 Diabetes.
Type 1 Diabetes is characterized by the pancreas’ inability to produce insulin. As insulin levels decline, glucose accumulates to dangerous stages, which can potentially damage other organs throughout the body.
Since cord blood stem cells can differentiate into a wide range of cells, researchers believe that they can help ‘re-educate’ the immune systems of diabetes patients. A cord blood stem cell transplant separates encourages the pancreas to begin producing insulin, which helps break down glucose, and can improve the odds of successfully rebuilding the immune system.
One of the most successful studies using cord blood to treat diabetes was led by Dr Yong Zhao of the University of Illinois at Chicago. The research team recruited 15 patients with moderate and severe cases of Type 1 diabetes underwent cord blood stem cell therapy, and the results are optimistic. Twelve weeks after the treatment, doctors lowered the daily dose of required insulin in six patients with moderate diabetes by 38%. The remaining patients with severe diabetes required 25% less daily insulin doses.
While cord blood stem cells can help improve the lives of patients with Type 1 Diabetes, cord blood isn’t a guaranteed cure. However, doctors are optimistic that future research and tests can improve the chances of finding new opportunities to improve the lives of patients.