Neurologists warn of the hazard of “stem cell tourism”

Microscope image of fluorescent cells.

Enlarge / Skeletal stem cells are proven right here in crimson. (credit score: Noriaki Ono)

Stem cells maintain the promise of serving to us restore tissues broken by illness or damage. However exterior of bone marrow stem cells, the apply stays largely a promise, as we’re simply beginning medical trials to find out if we are able to use these cells successfully. However that hasn’t stopped folks from providing stem cell “therapies” with no foundation in proof. Most of the clinics that provide these companies are primarily based abroad, resulting in what’s been termed “stem cell tourism.” However a quantity reap the benefits of ambiguities in Meals and Drug Company rules to function in america.

A brand new survey of docs suggests {that a} stunning variety of their sufferers are utilizing these companies—typically with extreme penalties. And lots of docs do not feel like they’re ready to cope with the fallout.

Widespread curiosity

The work focuses on neurologists, who focus on treating illnesses of the nervous system. These embody illnesses like Parkinson’s and a number of sclerosis, for which there are few efficient therapies—though stem cells have undergone some preliminary exams within the case of Parkinson’s. Given the dearth of established choices, it would not be stunning if these sufferers turned to therapies that have not been established, like these involving stem cells.

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