Louis A. Cona M.D.
A brief description of how stem cell therapy can help Parkinson's, ALS, stroke and spinal cord injuries,
Neurological conditions encompass a broad range of disorders that affect the brain, spinal cord, and nervous system. These include conditions such as Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), Parkinson’s disease, stroke, spinal cord injuries, and even Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI). Before the advent of stem cell medicine, these conditions were degenerative and only the symptoms were treated using a spectrum of drugs. The damage caused by the disease to the neuron could not be fixed. However, stem cells have shown remarkable healing properties in the body. Studies have now shown that stem cells have the ability to reduce the deterioration of nerve cells, restore cell function, reduce symptom-causing inflammation, and even regrow new neurons.
ALS, also called Lou Gehrig’s disease, is a condition which affects motor neuron function in the body, eventually leading to total loss of control of muscle function. There is no known cure, however mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) are being used to treat ALS patients. MSC transplants have been shown to stimulate the production of T regulatory stem cells and anti-inflammatory cytokines. These both contribute to the modulation of the immune system, slowing down and even reversing the progression of ALS symptoms.
Parkinson’s disease is one of the most common neurological conditions in the world. It causes the loss and degeneration of neurons in the body, resulting in delays in movement, reaction, and general coordination. The strong anti-inflammatory properties of MSCs have drastic effects on Parkinson’s symptoms. More recently, long-term clinical trials have shown improvements in common symptoms including facial expression, gait and freezing episodes, and research has also shown improvements in other common behaviours such as tremor and motility.
A stroke is generally caused by an obstruction in a blood vessel within the brain, causing oxygen deprivation, and damage to neurons. MSCs have the ability to promote healing and growth of neurons, protecting them from further cell death. Stem cell transplants have shown quantifiable improvements in patient condition and symptoms following treatment. Patients treated with stem cells showed an average increase in 11.4 points on the Fugl-Meyer Assessment, a stroke-specific impairment test, and the results held for years after treatment.
Mesenchymal stem cells can help rescue impaired neural function after spinal cord injury, promote neural regeneration, replace lost neural cells, and overall improve cell’s ability to survive. The anti-inflammatory effects allow the body to better heal itself, while the stem cells themselves can differentiate into neuron-like cells, restoring functionality. Most notably, patients have demonstrated the ability to regain sensation and even mobility after sustaining a debilitating spinal cord injury.
Traumatic Brain Injury, or TBI, has garnered a lot of media attention in recent years, most notably surrounding blows to the head during football games. A severe hit or jolt to the head can permanently impair normal brain function. This can often lead to loss of cognition, motor functions, and even early death. Mesenchymal stem cells can produce growth and trophic factors, which are essential in neural development and maintenance. For patients with TBI, stem cell transplants protect the neurons in the brain and promote restoration of neural function, even increasing blood flow to the brain.
DVC Stem is a stem cell therapy pioneer, offering stem cell therapies for years and has become a cornerstone of the medical tourism industry. Located in the tropical paradise of Grand Cayman in the Western Caribbean, we offer patients a nearby alternative to traveling long distances and to less ideal locations. Our protocols are IRB approved, and our cells come from regulated, U.S. based, FDA compliant laboratories. We seek to offer the highest quality products, the latest available treatments for a variety of conditions, all combined with a world-class setting and service.
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