Adult stem cell therapy has emerged as a promising new option for patients who have had a stroke or are living with debilitating neurological conditions like Parkinson’s Disease, Multiple Sclerosis, Alzheimer’s Disease and others. This innovative treatment utilizes adult stem cells (from your body fat) which have the ability to decrease inflammation, repair damaged tissue, facilitate better cell-to-cell communication and stimulate new blood vessel growth for better blood flow to the affected area(s). By harnessing the power of your body’s own natural repair mechanisms, it is possible to achieve a better quality of life with Okyanos Cell Therapy.
What Are Neurological Diseases?
The central nervous system (composed of the brain, spinal cord and nerves) controls many functions of the body including movement, speech, breathing and walking. Neurological diseases and degenerative conditions can be devastating and debilitating, affecting nearly every aspect of a normal life. Symptoms can vary, but in general neurological disease may lead to:
- Loss of balance and coordination
- Loss of feeling (numbness)
- Memory loss
- Difficulty moving
Many neurological disease symptoms worsen over time, making the primary goals of treatment the control of symptoms and slowing the progression of the disease.
What Does Stem Cell Therapy Do For Neurological Conditions?
Your fat contains the most potent and concentrated source of stem cells in your body. These cells have the ability to cross the blood-brain barrier and travel directly into the nervous system to improve blood flow to the brain and repair some of the nerve damage which has occurred as a result of your degenerative disease or neurological injury. In cases of Parkinson’s Disease, Multiple Sclerosis, Alzheimer’s or other neurodegenerative disease, adult stem cells can slow the degenerative progression of your symptoms while restoring blood flow to the brain and repairing or replacing damaged tissue. This may lead to a number of differences in quality of life, including:
- Increased energy
- Improved cognitive skill
- Better balance and coordination
- Improved physical function and exercisability
Although stem cell therapy is not yet a cure for neurological disease, there is promising evidence to support the ability of this therapy to improve your quality of life and slow the progression of debilitating neurodegenerative conditions.
How Do The Stem Cells Get to My Brain?
The brain is protected from bacteria, toxins, and viruses by the blood-brain barrier. Unfortunately this barrier also prevents the blood stream from efficiently delivering your stem cells to the brain to assist in repair following neurological injury or disease. Your stem cells are called upon to perform the important task of improving blood flow to tissues, halting destructive inflammation and further tissue death.
To support the stem cells in performing these jobs effectively, doctors at Okyanos utilize a specifically developed 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 the doctors to target your stem cells inside the brain to re-establish blood flow and repair damaged nerve cells (neurons).
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:
- First, water-assisted fat harvesting is done to obtain a sufficient amount of adipose (fat) tissue.
- The unique blend of stem and regenerative cells which exist in the adipose tissue are then isolated and prepared for intravenous delivery utilizing a 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.
- Approximately 45 minutes before stem and regenerative cell implantation begins, mannitol is administered to facilitate the cells crossing the blood brain barrier for a potentially more efficacious cell delivery.
- In accordance with the individualized treatment plan prepared for each patient, adult stem and regenerative cells are then delivered intravenously and (where appropriate) by direct injection. This combination of IV and direct injection is a standard technique developed by doctors at Okyanos. Direct injections are performed under ultrasound or 2D-fluoroscopic guidance to ensure proper placement of the cells.
To learn more about Okyanos Cell Therapy for neurologic or neurodegenerative conditions, contact a Patient Liaison to request a free educational consultation or dial 855-OKYANOS (855-659-2667).
Mannitol-Enhanced Delivery of Stem Cells and Their Growth Factors Across the Blood-Brain Barrier (2014) in Cell Transplantation Journal. Retrieved from http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24480552
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
Meta-Analysis of Preclinical Studies of Mesenchymal Stromal Cells for Ischemic Stroke (April 8, 2014) in Neurology. Retrieved from http://www.neurology.org/content/82/14/1277.short
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
Open-Labeled Study of Unilateral Autologous Bone-Marrow-Derived Mesenchymal Stem Cell Transplantation in Parkinson’s Disease (February, 2010) in Translational Research: The Journal of Laboratory and Clinical Medicine. Retrieved from: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20129486?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