Thursday, July 23, 2009

Banking stem cells from teeth

If I were rich, I would store the cord blood and the teeth! Why not? But I have way too many expenses to even consider it at this point. However, if there were a genetic disease in my family that could benefit from stem cells, I may feel differently. Have any of you banked your cord blood for future use? What about your kid's teeth? I do want to donate the baby's cord blood. I still need to figure out how to set that up. I hear it has be done ahead of time around here.

FROM NBC: Stem cells were discovered in baby teeth six years ago.. And in the same way some families choose to store umbilical cord blood.. Some parents are now paying to store their child's teeth at stem cell banks. The question is should you bank.. Or are you being taken to the bank?
12 year old Abi McGlone is missing a few baby teeth. Abi "Right here and here and right here." Her parents are keeping track of each one, not for the tooth fairy, but for something potentially much more important. Abi has Type one diabetes, and her Parents hope that one day - someday - stem cells from baby teeth might unlock A cure. The idea isn't new. For a few years... many new moms and dads have been Banking the blood found in umbilical cords... right after their baby's birth. But it's costly... And not every frazzled new mom took the leap. Moms like maria Mcglone, for whom health concerns about her daughter seemed a far off worry... until Abi's diabetes diagnoses when she was just 3. Sot Maria Mcglone "Neither of us knew anything about diabetes, and had no clue that it was such a huge life long change." Having missed the opportunity to bank Abi's cord blood... her parents are hopeful about stem cells gathered from those baby teeth. Dr. Pamela Robey is a researcher at the National Inst of Health. In 2003 her team discovered that nestled in the pulp of baby teeth are a few of those same stem cells - building blocks that have the potential to develop into many different parts of the body. Pamela Robey/National Institutes of Health"From that single baby tooth, we can isolate between 10 and 20 stem cells. The number is very small, but they're very powerful in how they can divide." But there's a difference. Unlike stem cells from cord blood, baby teeth stem Cells so far have only been tested in animals. Dr. Robey"In terms of using dental pulp stem cells, it's, it's too early to say how, uh,effective they would be in applications outside of the mouth." Nevertheless, some companies see this emerging research as an opportunity, Running ads like these... Which seem promising. Nat – a Abi's parents paid to the national dental pulp lab, one of a handful of us Tooth cell banks... With a kit used to collect abi's teeth. They will continue To pay $125 a year to keep them frozen, price that's half of what it costs for Cord blood collection. Researchers say Right now there is not sufficient science to recommend saving and banking these teeth.. But there is plenty of evidence that someday the stem cells will become significant in helping to find cures for different diseases.

-NewsAnchorMom Jen

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