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series: Exploration Health
air date: 3/05/13 8:30 AM
New Hope for Living with ALS (Segment 1) - ALS- a debilitating disease named after the famed Yankee baseball player Lou Gehrig-is not common but when it strikes it is devastating. It's victims may initially notice weakness in one area but soon the effects of the condition are felt throughout their bodies. Many patients have trouble breathing-and severe shortness of breath which can make living with the disease very difficult. While there's no cure yet for ALS there are therapies that can help with the effects of the disease. In this segment we look at a diaphragm pacer that can help ALS patients breathe better for a longer period of time. This can obviously improve their quality of life and researchers are now looking into whether this device itself can actually help ALS patients live longer. Umbilical Cord Blood Banking (Segment 2) - Stem cells and their benefits can be very controversial but there's no controversy regarding the benefits of stem cells taken from a baby's Umbilical cord blood. Because of the unique properties of these cells they've been used in clinical trials to help treat injuries and conditions that were previously thought to be very difficult to treat. In this segment we meet a young family who used their daughter's umbilical cord blood to help treat her hearing loss. We also explore why researchers believe these particular stem cells have so much potential to treat many different diseases and conditions.
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