What is Parkinson’s Disease?
Parkinson’s Disease (PD) is a chronic and progressive movement disorder, meaning that symptoms continue and worsen over time. Nearly one million people in the US are living with Parkinson’s disease. The cause is unknown, and although there is presently no cure, there are treatment options such as medication and surgery to manage its symptoms.
Parkinson’s involves the malfunction and death of vital nerve cells in the brain, called neurons. Parkinson’s primarily affects neurons in an area of the brain called the substantia nigra. Some of these dying neurons produce dopamine, a chemical that sends messages to the part of the brain that controls movement and coordination. As PD progresses, the amount of dopamine produced in the brain decreases, leaving a person unable to control movement normally.
There are five stages of Parkinson’s disease:
– Patients exhibit mild symptoms, such as tremoring and loss of balance. Typically this will occur in a single limb.
– The symptoms are now bilateral affecting both limbs and both sides of the body.
– Inability to walk or stand including a noticeable slowing of physical movement.
– Severe symptoms are noticeable however the patient can still walk. Rigidity and bradykinesia are often visible. Tremors or shakiness of the earlier stages may lessor become non-existent.
– In the final stage of Parkinson’s, patients are unable to take care of themselves and may not be able to stand or walk. These patients require constant nursing care.
What are some Potential Symptoms/Complications of Parkinson’s Disease?
Bradykinesia – slowness of movement and loss of voluntary movement
Rigidity – unusual stiffness in a limb or other body part
Resting tremors – uncontrollable movement that affects a limb when it is at rest
Gait and reduced facial expressions
Cognitive impairment – decline in ability to multi-task or concentrate
Mood disorders – depression and anxiety
Sleep issues – REM sleep disorder
Low blood pressure – when standing
Speech and swallowing problems
What causes Parkinson’s Disease?
In Parkinson’s disease, neurons in the brain gradually break down and die. Many of the symptoms are due to a loss of neurons that produce dopamine. When your dopamine levels decrease, it causes abnormal brain activity. It is not entirely clear what causes Parkinson’s disease however genetic and environmental triggers are the most likely culprits.
Parkinson's Disease Stem Cell Treatment
For years the gold standard in Parkinson’s disease treatment has involved nonspecifically increasing the level of dopamine in the central nervous system. Over time this treatment loses efficacy and causes unwanted, sometimes severe, side effects. However, exciting developments are on the horizon that exploit the therapeutic benefits of stem cells to treat this condition.
What are stem cells?
Cellular division is the basic mechanism that allows growth and repair within our bodies. Most dividing cells in our body create exact replicates of themselves. A “parent” cell will divide into two “daughter” cells that are exactly alike. For example, a skin cell will divide into two “daughter” skin cells exactly like the “parent.” Generally speaking cells never change their phenotype and always divide into replicates of themselves. A skin cell cannot differentiate into a heart cell and a heart cell cannot divide into brain cells. However, unique cell populations exist, known as stem cells, capable of differentiating and dividing into a vast array of cell types. For example, a single stem cell could differentiate and then divide into brain cells, heart cells, or blood cells. As highlighted in the article created by the National Institutes of Health, Stem Cell Basics, this specialized property provides stem cells with the ability to serve as an internal repair stem, allowing them to replace damaged and dying cells as needed.
What is Parkinson’s stem cell treatment?
The symptoms of Parkinson’s disease result from the damage and death of specialized nerve cells in a part of the brain called the substantia nigra pars compacta. When these nerve cells cease to function properly, certain messages from the brain are no longer effectively transmitted to the body. This results in a number of distinctive symptoms including tremors, balancing difficulties, and loss of general mobility. Stem cells have the potential to repair some of the CNS damage brought on by this disease.
What types of cells are used in Parkinson’s disease stem cell treatment?
TruStem Cell Therapy utilizes a patient’s own stem cells during the course of treatment. These cells are isolated from the patient’s bone marrow, also known as bone marrow aspirate. This method offers a range of benefits including:
- Providing stem cells with the potential to differentiate into many cell types such as bone cells, muscle cells, cartilage cells and most importantly, neurons, the type of brain cell damaged by Parkinson’s disease
- Bone marrow stem cells offer one of the most plentiful stem cell sources in the body
- Bone marrow stem cells have strong immunomodulatory functionality, affording the ability to quell damaging inflammatory processes
- A treatment that uses an individual’s own stem cells, which is minimally manipulated poses little to no risk to the patient’s health compared with non-autologous sources
People who suffer from Parkinson’s know the life-altering effects of its symptoms all too well. If you have Parkinson’s disease, or care for someone who does, it’s important to keep in mind that there are currently no therapies that cure the disease. Treatments such as TruStem Cell Therapy, however, have the potential to improve the patient’s quality of life, reduce symptoms and possibly slow the progression of the disease.
While the FDA has not yet approved stem cell therapy as a treatment for Parkinson’s disease, clinical studies have demonstrated safety and potential efficacy. The FDA, however, requires further investigation before the treatment can be approved.
If you are interested in Parkinson’s stem cell treatment, or simply have questions about this exciting new procedure, don’t hesitate to contact us for more information.
What steps are involved in receiving treatment through TruStem Cell TherapyTM?
There are three steps involved:
Stem cells are harvested
First a blood draw is performed followed by a minimally invasive bone marrow harvest via the iliac crest. Approximately 100cc’s of a patient’s own bone marrow is harvested through a minimally invasive, bone marrow aspiration procedure. TruStem Cell Therapy utilizes a powered bone marrow access system combined with local anesthetic allowing for consistently larger specimen of cells, extremely low levels of pain/invasiveness reported by most patients, and higher levels of sterility.
Stem cells are processed and activated
Both the blood and bone marrow are immediately delivered to our dedicated, onsite laboratory staffed by our team of technicians. Once your sample is in the lab our advanced proprietary process isolates and excites regenerative cells and concentrates healing factors to hyper-physiological levels in order to facilitate the creation of a highly effective, injectable therapeutic.
Stem cells are administered
To increase the odds of treatment success, TruStem Cell Therapy uses multiple delivery methods including systemic and targeted routes of administration. Systemic administration, provided in an IV solution, saturates the whole body with the harvested stem cells. By contrast, targeted administration, also known as “novel administration,” is directed at specific areas that have been injured, such as muscles and limbs. Further, novel administration, such as intranasal administration, can target peripheral vascular to increase the likelihood of stem cells reaching the central nervous system.
How are stem cells administered back into Parkinson’s patients through TruStem Cell Therapy?
Systemic IV infusion of their stem cells to fully saturate the entire body.
Intranasal administration to target areas of damage in the central nervous system
Localized injections into targeted muscles and limbs
What is unique about receiving stem cell therapy through TruStem Cell Therapy™ for Parkinson’s ?
Our focus is safety, efficacy, and patient-centric care when providing access to superior stem cell therapy.
We utilize only board certified surgeons, physicians and accredited clinicians to provide care for patients.
Laboratory protocols are developed and refined by our PhD Neuroscientist.
A clinical team with expertise in practicing cellular based medicine.
Accredited Surgical Centers for enhanced procedural and patient safety
Targeted administration methods that direct stem cells toward specific
Skilled Patient Advocates who are trained to provide truthful, realistic expectations resulting from stem cell therapy. We do not make outlandish promises of cures or inaccurate claims related to improvement rates.
Can this treatment cure Parkinson's?
It is important for patients and caregivers to understand that current therapies,
including stem cell treatment, does not provide a cure for Parkinson’s. However, TruStem
cell therapy does have the potential to improve a patient’s quality of life by
reducing symptoms and complications related to PD as well as slowing its
Are stem cells FDA approved for Parkinson's?
The FDA has not approved stem cell therapy for Parkinson’s. As noted above, studies have demonstrated the safety and efficacy of stem cell therapy for Parkinson’s but additional studies are needed before FDA approval can be secured.
What type of improvements can I expect from stem cell therapy?
It is possible through these treatments, to improve a patient’s quality of life by minimizing disease related symptoms and complications. For Parkinson’s patients, it is possible to see improvements in any one or multiple disease related complications such as: mobility, tremors, fatigue, sleep impairment, sense of taste and smell, mood, rigidity, involuntary movement, etc… If you have questions regarding how these treatments may help you, please contact one of our Patient Advocates to learn more.
How long will it take to see improvements?
It is difficult to predict the timeline of a patient’s response. Every patient responds differently to treatment. It could take weeks to months for the stem cells to provide noticeable results.
What type of side-effects can a patient expect from stem cell therapy?
Typically patients will experience some level of soreness and bruising lasting roughly a week as a result of the bone marrow harvesting procedure. Additional complications have not been observed. Over a hundred studies and clinical trials have demonstrated the safety and minimal side-effect profile of stem cell therapy.