Can Stem Cell Therapy help patients with Multiple Sclerosis?
Today, new treatments and advances in research are giving new hope to people affected by Multiple Sclerosis. StemGenex Medical Group provides stem cell therapy for Multiple Sclerosis to help those with unmet clinical needs achieve optimum health and better quality of life. A clinical study registered through the National Institutes of Health (NIH) at www.clinicaltrials.gov/stemgenex has been established to evaluate the quality of life changes in individuals with Multiple Sclerosis following stem cell therapy.
Multiple sclerosis stem cell treatment is being studied for efficacy in improving the complications in patients with MS, through the use of their own stem cells. These procedures may help patients who don’t respond to typical drug treatment, want to reduce their reliance on medication, or are looking to try stem cell therapy multiple sclerosis options before starting drug treatment.
To learn more about becoming a patient and receiving stem cell therapy through StemGenex Medical Group, please contact one of our Patient Advocates at (800) 609-7795. Below are some frequently asked questions about stem cell therapy for Multiple Sclerosis.
Frequently Asked Questions for Multiple Sclerosis Stem Cell Therapy
- How can stem cells be used to treat patients with Multiple Sclerosis?
Multiple sclerosis (MS) is widely believed to be an autoimmune condition – the body’s immune system mistakenly attacks, and subsequently damages, the ‘myelin sheath’ protecting nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord. This damage causes messages to and from the brain to be slowed, distorted or stopped altogether. This is what leads to the symptoms of MS.
Damage to the myelin sheath is believed to cause ‘relapses’, or MS attacks. In these attacks, symptoms flare up and last for anything from 24 hours to several months. Over time, if nerve fibers themselves become damaged, or destroyed completely, this can lead to ‘progression’ of the MS and an increase in disability.
This treatment for multiple sclerosis is designed to target the myelin sheath by introducing adult mesenchymal stem cells past the blood brain barrier so they may differentiate into and repair the myelin sheath nerve cells. This process is called remyelination. Further, being that Multiple Sclerosis is an auto-immune condition, adipose derived mesenchymal stem cells have the ability to repair the immune system; keeping it from attacking itself. This process is referred to as immunomodulation. Through remyelination and immunomodulation, we hope to work toward improving the quality of lives of patients dealing with Multiple Sclerosis.
- Does StemGenex sponsor stem cell clinical studies through the National Institutes of Health (NIH)?
Upholding the highest levels of ethical conduct, safety and efficacy is our primary focus. Five clinical stem cell studies for Parkinson's Disease, Multiple Sclerosis, Osteoarthritis, Rheumatoid Arthritis and Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) are registered through the National Institutes of Health (NIH) at www.clinicaltrials.gov/stemgenex. Each clinical study is reviewed and approved by an independent Institutional Review Board (IRB) to ensure proper oversight and protocols are being followed.
- What are stem cells?
Stem cells are the basic building blocks of human tissue and have the ability to repair, rebuild, and rejuvenate tissues in the body. When a disease or injury strikes, stem cells respond to specific signals and set about to facilitate the healing process by differentiating into specialized cells required for the body’s repair.
- What are the different types of stem cells?
There are four known types of stem cells which include:
- Adult Stem Cells
- Embryonic Stem Cells
- Fetal Stem Cells
- Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells (iPSCs)
StemGenex Medical Group provides autologous adult stem cells (from fat tissue) where the stem cells come from the person receiving treatment.
- What type of stem cells does StemGenex Medical Group use for stem cell treatment?
StemGenex Medical Group provides autologous adult adipose-derived stem cells (from fat tissue) where the stem cells come from the person receiving treatment.
- When do we use the body's stem cells?
We tap into our body’s stem cell reserve daily to repair and replace damaged or diseased tissue. When the body’s reserve is limited and as it becomes depleted, the regenerative power of our body decreases and we succumb to disease and injury.
- What are the sources of stem cells from one's own body?
Three sources of stem cells from a patient’s body are used clinically which include adipose tissue (fat), bone marrow and peripheral blood.
- What is an adipose stem cell therapy procedure?
Performed by Board Certified Physicians, dormant stem cells are extracted from the patient’s adipose tissue (fat) through a minimally invasive mini-liposuction procedure with little to no downtime.
During the liposuction procedure, a small area (typically the abdomen) is numbed with an anesthetic and patients receive mild to moderate sedation. Next, the extracted dormant stem cells are isolated from the fat and activated, and then comfortably infused back into the patient intravenously (IV) and via other directly targeted methods of administration. The out-patient procedure takes approximately four to five hours.
- How are the stem cells administered back into Multiple Sclerosis patients through StemGenex?
StemGenex Medical Group provides multiple administration methods for Multiple Sclerosis patients to best target the disease related conditions and symptoms which include:
- Intravenously (IV) – directed into the vein
- Intra Nasal – administration to access a highly vascular pathway of the nose to encourage stem cells to travel past the blood brain barrier
- Directly targeted methods of administration – injected directly into the site that needs repair, i.e., muscles and tendons
- How long will it take to see results?
Since each condition and patient are unique, there is no guarantee of what results will be achieved or how quickly they may be observed. According to patient feedback, many patients report results in one to three months, however, it may take as long as six to nine months. Individuals interested in stem cell therapy are urged to consult with their physician before choosing investigational autologous adipose-derived stem cell therapy as a treatment option.
- Am I a candidate for stem cell therapy at StemGenex Medical Group?
In order to determine if you are a good candidate for adult stem cell treatment, you will need to complete a medical history form which will be provided by your StemGenex Medical Group Patient Advocate. Once you complete and submit your medical history form, our medical team will review your records and determine if you are a qualified candidate for adult stem cell therapy.
- How long does it take to schedule an appointment?
StemGenex Medical Group team members are here to help assist and guide you through the patient process.
- In order to determine if you are a good candidate for adult stem cell treatment, you will need to complete a medical history form which will be provided by your StemGenex Medical Group Patient Advocate.
- Once you complete and submit your medical history form, our medical team will review your records and determine if you are a qualified candidate for adult stem cell therapy.
- Once approved, your Patient Advocate will assist you with scheduling your appointment for stem cell treatment.
- The process of scheduling an appointment typically takes one to three weeks from the time of the initial contact to the date of your first appointment.
- Do I have to live in California to receive stem cell therapy through StemGenex Medical Group?
Patients travel to StemGenex Medical Group located in Del Mar, California located in San Diego County for stem cell treatment from all over the United States, Canada and around the globe. Treatment will consist of one visit lasting a total of three days. The therapy is minimally invasive and there is little to no down time. Majority of patients fly home the day after treatment.
- What diseases and conditions can be treated with stem cells?
We provide stem cell therapy for a wide variety of diseases and conditions for which traditional treatment offers less than optimal options. Some conditions include Multiple Sclerosis, Parkinson's Disease, Rheumatoid Arthritis, Osteoarthritis and Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD).
- Are there any known side-effects to the procedure?
The side effects of the mini-liposuction procedure are minimal and may include but are not limited to: minor swelling, bruising and redness at the procedure site, minor fever, headache, or nausea. However, these side effects typically last no longer than 24 hours and are experienced mostly by people with sensitivity to mild anesthesia. No long-term negative side effects or risks have been reported.
The side effects of adipose-derived stem cell therapy are minimal and may include but are not limited to: infection, minor bleeding at the treatment sites and localized pain. However, these side effects typically last no longer than 24 hours. No long-term negative side effects or risks have been reported.
- Are there any moral or religious issues with regards to adipose stem cell transplant?
StemGenex Medical Group provides adult stem cell treatment with mesenchymal stem cells which come from the person receiving treatment. Embryonic stem cells are typically associated with ethical and political controversies.
- Is adult adipose stem cell therapy FDA approved?
The FDA is currently in the process of defining a regulatory path for cellular therapies. A Scientific Workshop and Public Hearing – Draft Guidances Relating to the Regulation of Human Cells, Tissues or Cellular or Tissue-Based Products was held in September 2016 at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in Bethesda, MD. Currently, stem cell treatment is not FDA approved.
In March 2016, bipartisan legislation, the REGROW Act was introduced to the Senate and House of Representatives to develop and advance stem cell therapies.
- Is stem cell therapy covered by insurance?
Stem cell treatment is not covered by health insurance at this time. The cost for standard preoperative labs are included. Additional specific labs may be requested at the patient’s expense.
- What are the main types of MS?
- Relapsing remitting MS (RRMS):
Periods of acute attacks with worsening of symptoms followed by complete or partial recovery (remission)
Around 85 per cent of people with MS are diagnosed with RRMS.
- Secondary progressive MS (SPMS):
Following an initial period of relapsing remitting MS, many people develop secondary progressive MS. This is characterised by a gradual accumulation of disability, either with or without relapses (relapsing SPMS or non-relapsing SPMS).
- Primary progressive MS (PPMS):
A gradual accumulation of disability from the beginning, with no distinct periods of relapse and remission.
Around 10-15 per cent of people diagnosed have this form of MS.
- Progressive-Relapsing MS:
In this relatively rare course of MS (5%), people experience steadily worsening disease from the beginning, but with clear attacks of worsening neurologic function along the way. They may or may not experience some recovery following these relapses, but the disease continues to progress without remissions.
- Relapsing remitting MS (RRMS):
- What are some of the most common Multiple Sclerosis complications?
People suffering from Multiple Sclerosis often suffer from the following complications:
- Problems with balance and walking
- Changes in vision
- Emotional changes
- Impaired thinking
- Impaired understanding
- Poor muscle coordination
- Sexual problems
- Slurred speech
- Bladder and bowel problems