Latest stories: Family & Kids

Seeking solutions to allergy symptoms

Stuffy nose? Itchy eyes? Mucus going down the back of the throat? If you’re prone to wheezing, perhaps you’re experiencing a wheeze or two? Or three? Or four? Or maybe you’re just tired and miserable all the time at this time of year? Of course, you know what I’m talking about: allergies. They come with the season, just like mosquitoes and those pesky flies. Read more

House Call: Umbilical cord blood may be worth banking

Stem cells are amazing. They have the ability to become any other cell. Adults have a few of these cells, but newborns have many. These stem cells can be harvested from the blood in an infant’s umbilical cord, from the umbilical cord itself, and from the placenta. Stem cells have been the focus of a lot of research, and most of that research has been done on stem cells from umbilical cord blood. If you are pregnant, you may have heard about freezing your child’s umbilical cord blood after birth. Some parents choose to do this as a form of family health insurance. That’s because stem cells from umbilical cord blood can be used to treat 80 conditions (a big leap from 1998 when they were used for only one). This includes 10 kinds of cancer, mostly leukemias and lymphomas; 16 kinds of bone marrow failure syndrome; 8 blood disorders; 17 metabolic disorders; 19 types of immunodeficiency; and four other conditions. More therapeutic possibilities are on the horizon. Be aware, though, that treatment does not always work. Read more

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