People, on average, are living longer than ever before. In part, this is due to medical advances that have made it possible to save more people from life-threatening diseases, injuries and congenital conditions. But as people live longer, they're more likely to acquire chronic diseases or develop age-related conditions.
After the onset of most chronic diseases or injuries, the damage is there to stay — consider scarring of heart tissue from a heart attack, beta cell dysfunction in diabetes or a spinal cord injury from an accident. Symptoms can be managed, oftentimes with good success, but the underlying tissue or organ damage remains unhealed and can cause complications over time.
The Mayo Clinic Center for Regenerative Medicine was established to develop new clinical applications that address the unmet needs of these patients and to harness the capabilities of Mayo across disciplines. Jay Smith, M.D., vice-chair of Mayo Clinic Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation in Minnesota, talks about the center, the field of regenerative medicine, and takes viewer calls on KSMQ Health Connections.