From Frankfort, Illinois, USA:
My 10-year-old daughter has been newly diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. I have been looking online to see what type of research is available for a possible cure. I noticed that there are some research projects involving human cord blood stem cells for a cure for type 1 diabetes. I was wondering if you have any information on this subject.
There is also research on using stem cells from baby teeth for a cure of different diseases. I was thinking about "banking" (a procedure for preservation of the stem cells) a couple of my daughter's baby teeth in case these stem cells could be used in the future. It is costly to bank them, although worth it if they can help in the future. My dentist mentioned that all teeth have stem cells and maybe she does not need to bank the baby teeth because she could possibly use wisdom teeth if needed in the future. Do you know if stem cells are the same in baby teeth and wisdom teeth? Should I bank my daughter’s baby teeth?
If money is not an issue, then blood and teeth and other things can be stored. Which of these may be useful for future research endeavors or "cures" is highly speculative. I do not advise my patients/families to spend their money in this fashion at present, although it is great to review this early research.
[Editor's comment: For related information, see Improving the efficacy of type 1 diabetes therapy by transplantation of immunoisolated insulin-producing cells. See also a previous question on this subject. Note that the previous question is from five years ago. BH]
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