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avalmez's avatar

Stem Cell Research: What health issue impacting your or a loved one's life do you expect stem cell research will resolve within, let's say, 5 years?

Asked by avalmez (1614points) July 16th, 2009

It seems much time has been lost due to the controversy surrounding stem cell research – and even worse, many lives lost pending a resolution of the controversy.

Putting the controversy aside as water under the bridge for now and focusing on the future, what health issues do you sincerely believe stem cell research could resolve in the relatively near term? What evidence can you provide to support your expectations?

This is a question about hope!

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13 Answers

dalepetrie's avatar

I don’t think it will happen in 5 years, but my wife, my father, an uncle, myself, my grandmother and a number of friends of mine have type II diabetes, and I do think that stem cell research will find a cure. Essentially, with diabetes it’s generally one of two things that’s going on in your body. First scenario is your pancreas is not producing enough insulin or is not producing it at the proper times or intervals after it has been burned out…stem cells seem to have regenerative properties which could restore one’s pancreas to normal operation. Second scenario is that your pancreas is working but your muscles have basically built up a wall (insulin resistance), which keeps the insulin from doing it’s job (opening up the cellular walls to let the glucose out of your blood stream and into your muscles which can convert it to energy). I believe stem cells could fix what is malfunctioning with your muscle tissue, causing insulin resistance to diminish.

I also have one friend who is a cancer survivor, and I do think that many forms of cancers can be cured with stem cells, because as I understand it, the cells in your body start to basically freak out and grow out of control, which is what we know as cancer. I think again, stem cells could be used to regenerate the healthy cellular tissue to replace the damaged, diseased tissue. I don’t however think we’re 5 years away…maybe 15 or 20.

avalmez's avatar

@dalepetrie thanks for your response and informative details! hasn’t recent experimentation shown that injecting stem cells into the pancreas at least temporarily “cures” diabetes? i should do the research myself, but if not diabetes then some other organ and condition. thanks again and best to you and your family.

dalepetrie's avatar

@avalmez – to be honest, my knowledge of stem cells is very basic, I’m not sure if what you say has been shown or not, may have been, I wouldn’t be surprised. I would suspect however that even if temporary relief has been shown, getting to a permanent solution with this disease would prove a bit more tricky, as it’s such a systemic disease. I guess I don’t know, but I’m more than happy to leave it up to the scientists, I believe the more people we have working with them, the more quickly we’ll arrive at some answers.

cyndyh's avatar

Parkinson’s disease is in my husband’s family. It’s one of the things I’ve heard researchers are close on. I’m hoping some real progress can be made soon for my husband’s dad.

avalmez's avatar

@cyndyh my father also suffered from Parkinson’s and that’s a big reason why i’ve had an interest in stem cell research. and yes, research organizations claim they are close to a cure (i have seen a claim of within 5 years) and that stem cell research can greatly faciliate finding a cure. so, it may be too late for my father (he passed sadly several years ago), but i totaly support efforts to cure the disease. thanks for your response!

SuperMouse's avatar

I’m not sure if I believe stem cell research can do it in the relatively near future, but I would love to see it provide hope for spinal cord injury. My boyfriend is C5/complete quadriplegic and though I love him just the way he is, it would be a wonderful thing for everyone dealing with SCI.

avalmez's avatar

stem cell research may be the only real hope for persons suffering from spinal cord injury. hopefully real progress will be made soon regarding the applicability of stem cell research to finding a cure for SCI. thanks for your response and best to you and your boy friend!

Elerie's avatar

I have type one diabetes as does my mother. I’ve lived with it for 16 years and my mother, for 50 years. With type one diabetes, the pancreas stops producing insulin and those people who have it must supplement with insulin injections. It’d be nice if one morning i arose out of bed and didnt have my insulin pump wrapped around my body, or have to get up and take a shot. I’d like to not worry about losing an eye like my mother, or not have to go to multiple doctors (5 or 6) a month, again like my mother.
I don’t want to complain, I hope i dont sound like i am, because God knows people go through a whole lot more than i do with my chosen disease.
Realistically, 5 years… probably not. 10 or 15, hopefully. I hope by the time i die, diseases like cancer and parkinson’s and injuries involving spinal cords and all of the ailments that we all are affected by will have a cure or at least a means of treating that disease more effectively.
I’m a wishful thinker :)

mattbrowne's avatar

@Elerie – No, you don’t sound like complaining to me. Try to get good Hba1c results. Actually, many type 1 diabetics live a much healthier life than others. It’s difficult to predict when stem cell technology will lead to routine beta cell transplantation. The potential is there,

Garebo's avatar

It’s hard for me to allow accept that water under the bridge; its the water under the bridge that bothers me particularly from India and China-Big Money there. Yes, it will help a few folk.

captainshalfunit's avatar

As I have an autoimmune disease, systemic lupus, diagnosed over 40 years ago, I believe stem cell research can help the newly diagnosed, In fact, I personally know a young lady who underwent stem cell transplant shortly after diagnosis at approximately age 15 (her mother is a physician at Ohio State University). It is quite a brutal treatment, completely wiping out one’s own immune system, leaving the person susceptible to everything which is life threatening. Of course, she was kept in isolation and recovered remarkably with no more signs of lupus. However, for me, diagnosed so many years ago, I don’t see many positive results as the disease and myriad of toxic meds I’ve taken to survive have already done their damage. Carpe diem!

Iclamae's avatar

5 years is a small timeline but:
Multiple Sclerosis
Potentially cancer, one day with tricksy things.

empower's avatar

cardiac issues
cerebral palsy
maybe MS and SCI
breast restructuring
eye disease
ligament, tendons
blood diseases maybe even sicle cell if they can get more than a 15% changeover
bladder restructure
some types of arthritis
shoulder, hip and knee repairs
trigger fingers

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