Can Stem Cell Therapy help patients with Parkinson’s Disease?
Today, new treatments and advances in research are giving new hope to people affected by Parkinson’s Disease. StemGenex Medical Group provides Parkinson’s stem cell therapy 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 Parkinson’s Disease following stem cell therapy.
Parkinson’s Disease stem cell therapy is being studied for efficacy in improving the complications in patients 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 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 Parkinson’s Disease.
Frequently Asked Questions on Stem Cell Therapy for Parkinson's Disease
- How can stem cells be used to treat patients with Parkinson's Disease?
The majority of complications in Parkinson’s patients are related to the failure of dopamine neurons to do their job properly. Dopamine sends signals to the part of your brain that controls movement. It lets your muscles move smoothly and do what you want them to do. Once the nerve cells break down you no longer have enough dopamine, and you have trouble moving and completing tasks.
This stem cell treatment is designed to target these neurons and to help with the creation of new dopamine producing neurons. In addition, stem cells may release natural chemicals called cytokines which can induce differentiation of the stem cells into dopamine producing neurons.
- 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 Parkinson's Disease patients through StemGenex?
StemGenex Medical Group provides multiple administration methods for Parkinson's Disease 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 some of the most common Parkinson's Disease complications?
People suffering from Parkinson's Disease often suffer from the following complications::
- Primary Motor Symptoms
- Resting Tremor: - Slight tremor (shaking or oscillating movement) in the hand or foot on one side of the body, or in the jaw or face and usually appears when a person's muscles are relaxed, or at rest (not performing an action).
- Bradykinesia: - Bradykinesia (slow movement) A general reduction of spontaneous movement, which can give the appearance of abnormal stillness and a decrease in facial expressivity. Causes difficulty with repetitive movements and performing everyday functions, such as buttoning a shirt, cutting food or brushing teeth, walking with short, shuffling steps, affect on ones speech; quieter and less distinct, drooling and excess saliva result from reduced swallowing movements.
- Rigidity: - Rigidity causes stiffness and inflexibility of the limbs, neck and trunk. The muscle tone of an affected limb is always stiff and does not relax, sometimes contributing to a decreased range of motion. Rigidity can be uncomfortable or even painful and inhibits the swinging of arms when walking.
- Postural Instability: - Postural Instability (a tendency to be unstable when standing upright) is caused by uncontrollable reflexes needed for maintaining an upright posture that can cause particular difficulty when pivoting or making turns or quick movements. It can also cause retropulsion (a dangerous tendency to sway backwards when rising from a chair, standing or turning).
- Secondary Motor Symptoms
- Freezing - Freezing of gait; hesitation before stepping forward is a manifestations of akinesia (poverty of spontaneous movement). The feeling as if their feet are glued to the floor can increase a person’s risk of falling forward.
- Micrographia - Micrographia (shrinkage in handwriting). This occurs as a result of bradykinesia (slow movement) and hypokinesia (which refer to the fact that, in addition to being slow, the movements are also smaller than desired).
- Mask-like Expression - Face appearing less expressive than usual is a manifestations of akinesia (poverty of spontaneous movement [e.g. in facial expression]).
- Unwanted Accelerations - Unwanted Acceleration is the experience of movements that are too quick causing tachyphemia (excessively fast speech) and festination (an uncontrollable acceleration in gait).
- Stooped posture - A tendency to lean forward.
- Dystonia - A neurological movement disorder, in which sustained muscle contractions cause twisting and repetitive movements or abnormal postures.
- Impaired fine motor dexterity and motor coordination - Encompass the abilities required to control the smaller muscles of the body for writing, playing an instrument, artistic expression, and craft work.
- Impaired gross motor coordination - Abilities required in order to control the large muscles of the body for walking, running, sitting, crawling, and other activities.
- Speech problems - Such as softness of voice or slurred speech caused by lack of muscle control.
- Difficulty swallowing - Dysphagia.
- Sexual dysfunction - Difficulty experienced during sexual activity, including physical pleasure, desire, preference, arousal or orgasm.
- Cramping - Neural sensations caused by muscle contraction or overshortening.
- Drooling - Sialorrhea (the flow of saliva outside the mouth).
- Akinesia - Poverty of spontaneous movement.
- Hypokinesia - Movements that are slow as well as smaller than desired.
- Nonmotor Symptoms - Many researchers believe that nonmotor symptoms may precede motor symptoms — and a Parkinson’s diagnosis — by years. The most recognizable early symptoms include:
- Anosmia - loss of sense of smell
- Dyschezia - constipation
- REM behavior disorder - parasomnia, a sleep disorder
- Mood disorders - Depression, bipolar disorder, dysthymic disorder and cyclothymic disorder.
- Orthostatic hypotension - Sudden fall in blood pressure upon standing
- Other Nonmotor Symptoms
- Excessive saliva
- Weight loss
- Weight gain
- Vision problems
- Dental problems
- Fear and anxiety
- Skin problems
- Cognitive issues
- Sleep disturbances
- Bladder problems
- Sexual problems
- Primary Motor Symptoms