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Stem cell therapy may have the benefit of neurons within the brain, combating the progression of Parkinson's Disease (PD)

Stem Cell Therapy for Parkinson's Disease

Louis A. Cona M.D.

Nov 6, 2019

Explaining the relationship between stem cell therapy and Parkinson's.

What is Parkinson's Disease (PD)?

Parkinson's Disease is a degenerative nervous system condition that affects one's movement. Symptoms often start quite gradually, with minor issues such as small tremors within the extremities (hands). Currently, there is no cure for Parkinson's Disease (PD) but certain medications do have the capacity to help manage symptoms. Some doctors may also recommend surgery to address certain symptoms, which involves regulating certain areas of the brain.

What are the symptoms of Parkinson's Disease (PD)?

Parkinson's DIsease (PD) can include a variety of symptoms that vary in severity and type amongst the affected population. Early signs of the condition can sometimes go unnoticed but as the disease progresses one can expect these symptoms:

  • Difficulty speaking
  • Difficulty writing
  • Loss of automatic movements (Characterized by the inability to blink, smile or perform common body language practices)
  • Slowed overall movement (making everyday tasks more time consuming)
  • Muscle stiffness
  • Tremors or shaking

What causes Parkinson's Disease?

Parkinson's Disease is caused by a loss (or deterioration) of nerve cells in the brain. This loss of nerve cells within the brain results in a reduced amount of dopamine being created which acts as a messenger between the parts of your brain that control voluntary and involuntary movement. Therefore without that vital connection, your brain starts losing the ability to effectively control movement. Currently, it is unknown what causes the deterioration of nerve cells associated with Parkinson's Disease (PD). Currently, it is believed that both environmental factors, as well as genetic factors, may play a role in the loss of nerve cells.

Parkinson's Disease is a lifelong condition that can greatly impair the ability of one's daily functions. Traditional treatments only address the symptoms of the condition, but researchers are excited about the possibilities of certain gene therapies and stem cell therapy, which may have the ability to reverse damage and halt the progression of the disease.

So what are stem cells?

Stem cells are cells that have not yet specialized in the body, meaning they have not grown to a particular type of cell with a specific function (e.g. muscle cell, skin cell, etc). A stem cell can become many different cell types in the human body. The process of stem cells become new types of cells is called differentiation. This process is the most important aspect of stem cell therapies, as the cells become the type of cells required for your body to heal. Stem cells are also self-replicating. This allows them to multiply into identical copies of the stem cells that have already gone through differentiation in the body. For example, if stem cells were used to treat a neurological injury, cells administered during treatment could become nerve cells, and then replicate to create exponentially more nerve cells on their own. This drastically increases the effectiveness of stem cell treatments over time.

Stem Cell Therapy for Parkinson's Disease

According to Medical News Today "Currently, the most common therapy uses the drug levodopa to stimulate dopamine production in certain neurons associated with motor skills. These dopaminergic neurons are situated in the nigrostriatal pathway which is a brain circuit that connects neurons in the substantia nigra pars compacta with the dorsal striatum. However, levodopa has a wide array of side effects, from physiological to psychological ones. Also, in the long-term, the benefits of such dopamine-regulating drugs are limited. So, scientists must come up with more effective strategies for repairing the brain damage that Parkinson's disease causes."

Stem cell therapy may have the benefit of replacing these damaged dopamine-producing nerve cells within the brain. This has already been found in a study conducted by Neelam K.Venkataramana and colleagues. Seven PD patients aged 22 to 62 years with a mean duration of disease 14.7 ± 7.56 years were enrolled to participate in the prospective, uncontrolled, pilot study of single-dose, unilateral transplantation of autologous bone-marrow-derived mesenchymal stem cells (BM-MSCs). Patients were followed up for 36 months post-transplant, 3 of the 7 patients showed significant improvement in their Unified Parkinson's Disease Rating Scale (UPDRS) of 38%.

At DVC Stem we are seeing promising results with Cord Tissue-Derived Mesenchymal Stem Cells, cell numbers and viability has largely increased making the treatment more effective than Bone Marrow-Derived treatments in the early 2010s. The development of these advanced cellular therapies is making it possible to combat the progression of the disease without the resulting motor complications.

Stem Cells for Parkinson's Disease are safe

According the Venkataraman and colleagues, "A subjective improvement was found in symptoms like facial expression, gait, and freezing episodes; 2 patients have significantly reduced the dosages of PD medicine. These results indicate that our protocol seems to be safe, and no serious adverse events occurred after stem-cell transplantation in PD patients."

As stated in a 2005 study held by Brian Snyder,

Stem cells offer the potential to provide a virtually unlimited supply of optimized dopaminergic neurons that can provide enhanced benefits in comparison to fetal mesencephalic transplants. Stem cells have now been shown to be capable of differentiating into dopamine neurons that provide benefits following transplantation in animal models of Parkinson's disease.

Learn more about DVC Stem's protocol for Parkinson's Disease (PD) here: https://www.dvcstem.com/conditions/parkinsons

3 DAYS POST TREATMENT

Tyler explains his experience at DVC Stem in the Cayman Islands.

Tyler is optimistic that he will see positive results post treatment.

"The cool thing about the Cayman Islands besides being beautiful, it was an opportunity to get some rest and relaxation allowing my body to heal and restore. I'm back in the US now and feel like I am ready to conquer the world."

- Tyler Heid

2 WEEKS POST TREATMENT

2 weeks post treatment, MS patient Tyler is beginning to see amazing progress. He has been wheelchair bound for the last year and has not been able to move his legs unassisted before now.

Tyler Heid, lifting his foot 12" off the ground with 2 lb weights on his ankles.

Tyler - 2 weeks post treatment

"I'm on a path of progression and I'm getting better and better each day."

Tyler Heid - 2 months post treatment

2 MONTHS POST TREATMENT

Tyler updates about his progress, explaining the amazing response he has been receiving from his friends and family.

"People coming up to me saying I am moving, talking and smiling so much better. They are noticing a lot of things that have improved over the course of 3 months."

"This morning I was able to do things that I was unable to do before, I was able to stand up and lift my leg higher than I ever have before."

5 MONTHS POST TREATMENT

5 months post treatment Tyler sends us an update on his progress.

"I'm able to smile better, I have more control over the left side of my face."

"I have an increased ability to grip, lift my legs higher and higher which has gone well."

Tyler is optimistic and on the right track to recovery. We are ecstatic to see his progress and look forward to more updates from him.

"I have an increased ability to grip, lift my legs higher and higher which has gone well."

Tyler Heid - 5 months post treatment

"This is exciting stuff, god bless"

Matthew Murry - MS Patient

2 WEEKS POST TREATMENT

Matthew experiences sensation in the bottom of his feet after receiving a simple nerve test.

His left foot did not experience any sensation or move at all, but what happened to his right foot is extremely exciting!

David Lyons

Multiple Sclerosis

Although David Lyons was able to successfully fight Multiple Sclerosis through a strict regimen of diet and exercise, he wanted to ensure he was doing everything he could to stay fit. Multiple Sclerosis can be managed with treatment, but there is currently no cure for the disease. For that reason, David came to DVC Stem years ago to use the regenerative and anti-inflammatory attributes of stem cells to aid in his fight for fitness.

The positive results he experienced enabled David to stay strong in the gym, now into his 60s, and that is why he continues to support our clinic to this day.

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