Multiple Sclerosis is a terrifying diagnosis, especially if you have no prior experience dealing with this devastating condition. This progressive autoimmune disease attacks your central nervous system, producing unpredictable symptoms across a wide range. Adult stem cell therapy is a promising new approach to addressing the disease cycle and resulting symptoms seen in MS. Making use of the powerful healing mechanisms of stem cells present in your adipose (fat) tissue, Okyanos Cell Therapy presents the opportunity to address debilitating MS symptoms while targeting nerve cell repair.

Understanding Multiple Sclerosis

Breathing, walking and talking are all examples of activities which we often take for granted. All of these seemingly simple functions rely wholly and completely on a properly functioning central nervous system: the brain and spinal cord. In a working central nervous system (CNS), simple and complex tasks are completed when nerve cells transmit signals to one another along pathways which are protected by myelin sheathing. With MS, your myelin sheathing is mistakenly attacked by the immune system, breaking down this protective cover. The underlying nerve fiber is also damaged as a result, interrupting the nerve cells’ ability to transmit signals and do their job. Perhaps the most devastating aspect of multiple sclerosis is the unpredictable nature by which symptoms manifest and worsen over time. Continued inflammation and nerve tissue damage causes temporary and permanent symptoms including numbness, loss of vision and paralysis.

Stem Cell Therapy for MS: How Does it Work?

Your body fat contains a plentiful source of adult stem cells known as mesenchymal stem cells, or MSCs. These powerful healing cells not only stimulate nerve tissue repair, but help to immediately calm inflammation and prevent further nerve cell death. MSCs have been seen in clinical research to migrate to damaged myelin zones of the brain tissue and repair these protectors of the CNS. In addition, MSCs also have the ability to detect changes in the body which are causing pain or dysfunction, and to respond and communicate with the local environmental needs to provide the correct tools needed for healing. Simply put, adult stem cell therapy can immediately address the debilitating symptoms while getting to work on a more long-term strategy of healing and repair. Adult stem cells are commonly referred to as “repair cells” for this ability to heal injured tissues, organs or body parts, their primary functions being:

  • Decreased inflammation
  • Stimulated cell and tissue regeneration
  • Prevention of further cell death
  • Reduction of scar tissue that prevents normal organ function
  • Creation of new blood vessels

Doctors at Okyanos utilize a specifically developed Okyanos protocol for opening up the blood brain barrier to help deliver stem cells directly to the brain; a technique that has been proven effective in independent studies This enables doctors to target your stem cells inside the brain to re-establish blood flow and repair damaged nerve cells (neurons) as well as target the restoration of myelin, halting the future progression of symptoms. Improvements that have been seen in MS patients treated with stem cells include: A halt in the progression of lesions, as confirmed by MRI

  • Increased energy
  • Increased sexual function
  • Improved memory
  • Reduced medications
  • Better balance and coordination
  • Improved gait and exercisability

The Procedure

Adult stem cell treatment at Okyanos is a minimally invasive, same-day outpatient procedure. Though recovery can and does vary from patient to patient, our protocols are designed and carried out with the goal of keeping “downtime” to a minimum. A general overview of the procedure is as follows:

  1. First, water-assisted fat harvesting is done to obtain about a cup of adipose (fat) tissue.
  2. The unique blend of stem and regenerative cells which exist in the adipose tissue are then isolated and prepared for intravenous delivery utilizing an EU-approved, closed/sterile, fully automated CGMP cell processing system. For patients receiving direct injections, a closed/sterile, manually operated cell processing technology will be used to obtain a micro-fragmented, cell-rich product for injection.
  3. In accordance with the individualized treatment plan prepared for each patient, adult stem and regenerative cells are delivered intravenously to address the systemic factors relating to autoimmune disorders, as well as by direct injection (where appropriate) to address local symptoms. This combination of IV and direct injection is a standard technique developed by doctors at Okyanos.

To learn more about Okyanos Cell Therapy for autoimmune conditions, contact a Patient Liaison to request a free educational consultation or dial 855-OKYANOS (855-659-2667).

References:

Non-Expanded Adipose Stromal Vascular Fraction Cell Therapy for Multiple Sclerosis (2009) in Journal of Translational Medicine. Retrieved from http://www.translational-medicine.com/content/7/1/29

Promotion of Remyelination by Adipose Mesenchymal Stem Cell Transplantation in a Cuprizone Model of Multiple Sclerosis (July 2, 2013) in Cell Journal. Retrieved from: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23862116

Human Neural Precursor cells Promote Neurologic Recovery in a Viral Model of Multiple Sclerosis (June 3, 2014) in Stem Cell Reports. Retrieved from http://www.cell.com/stem-cell-reports/abstract/S2213-6711(14)00112-X

Fat Tissue: An Underappreciated Source of Stem Cells for Biotechnology (April, 2006) in Trends in Biotechnology. Retrieved from http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16488036.

Specific Induction of Neuronal Cells from Bone Marrow Stromal Cells and Application for Autologous Transplantation (June, 2004) in Journal of Clinical Investigation. Retrieved from http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15199405?dopt=Abstract&holding=f1000,f1000m,isrctn

Human Adipose Tissue-Derived Mesenchymal Stem Cells Secrete Functional Neprilysin-Bound Exosomes (February, 2013) in Scientific Reports. Retrieved from http://www.nature.com/srep/2013/130201/srep01197/full/srep01197.html

What is MS? National Multiple Sclerosis Society online resource centre. Retrieved from http://www.nationalmssociety.org/What-is-MS February, 2015.