Researchers uncover stem cells in umbilical cord blood

Researchers uncover stem cells in umbilical cord blood

According to the largest cord blood bank, Cord Blood Registry, British and American researchers have uncovered a number of stem cells in umbilical cord blood that has similar characteristics to embryonic stem cells.

The discovery has the potential to lead to improved treatments for conditions like diabetes, Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, stroke and spinal cord injury.  The Institute of Medicine recommended earlier this year, and Senate Bill SB2039 requires, all pregnant women are educated on the value of saving their baby’s cord blood at birth. 

The research team successfully turned the embryonic like stem cells into liver cells in laboratory experiments.  Every year, there are four million annual births in the U.S., and the latest discovery could have a significant effect on future treatment methods. 

Cord Blood Registry has retrieved cord blood units for newborns needing to use their own cryopreserved samples for stem cell infusions in the past few months in efforts to repair damage from anoxia and traumatic brain injury.  A newborn stem cell infusion is scheduled for October as a therapy for a cerebral palsy treatment.

These are believed to be the first treatments of its kind performed in the U.S. 

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