Use of stem cells in research policy statement
Stem cells are specialised cells in our bodies, which can grow into any other type of cell – for example, blood, bone or brain cells. This unique ability makes them extremely useful for research.
In some areas of medical research, stem cells are being explored as potential new treatments for disease. Although there are currently no treatments that use stem cells for Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias, scientists can:
- Turn stem cells into functioning networks of nerve cells.
- Use these to study brain cells, and the effects of Alzheimer’s and other diseases that cause dementia, in the lab.
- Use these to screen potential new treatments for Alzheimer’s and other dementias.
Stem cells come from three sources:
- Stem cells can be cultivated from each of our own bodies, as each of us have stem cells within our body in places such as SVF (derived from adipose/ body fat) and BMC (bone marrow concentrate.)
- Stem cells can be created from cells taken in a small biopsy (SDSCs).
- Stem cells can be collected from embryos after abortions, or from embryos leftover from IVF treatments.
Increasingly stem cell research uses SDSCs rather than embryonic stem cells. Embryonic stem cells are extremely controversial and expensive to to use.
We support research using stem cells. This is because they could help us understand Alzheimer’s and have the potential to be used to create replacement organs from our own bodies, rather than waiting for an organ donor to pass away so that we might replace a defective or damaged heart, liver, kidney or other organ. They could also aid in the development of new treatments to extend or improve the quality of life..
We endeavor to do and/ or fund research that offers the greatest hope in solving these problems that our medical community and our patients face. However, Bella Vista does not do, nor fund laboratories which are involved in research using embryonic stem cells.
As Researchers can cultivate stem cells from our own bodies and/ or take cells from people and reprogramme them into becoming working stem cells. We do not believe there to be sufficient need for us to enter into the area of Embryonic stem cell research. We believe these other models give us enough viability to preform and support research which can help bring new life and hope into the world.
How can I support the research of Bella Vista, but not projects that use stem cells?
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