The unique way in which your stroke has impacted your daily life is directly related to the severity of the trauma to the brain. Loss of vision, physical function, memory and speech impairment are just some of the different ways the event of a stroke can impact a normal life. Utilizing the powerful healing cells found in fat tissue, adult stem cell therapy for stroke offers a new approach by opening the door to brain repair for the chance at improved function, symptoms and quality of life.
The Basics of Stroke (Brain Attack)
Medically referred to as brain ischemia (or brain attack for its similarity to a heart attack), a stroke occurs when blood flow to the brain has been cut off as a result of a clot or weakened blood vessel. The obstructed blood flow which occurs in the event of a stroke causes oxygen-deprived brain cells to die. Depending on the severity and length of blood flow restriction, a traumatic brain injury such as stroke can cause serious and permanent damage to the brain often resulting in some degree of disability.
The Okyanos Cell Therapy Approach
Adult stem cells are present throughout the various tissues of the body and are responsible for repairing day-to-day bumps, bruises and acute injuries—whether that injury is a paper cut, pneumonia or a stroke. Unfortunately, the number of adult stem cells present in local areas of the body vary greatly in number and most researchers agree that there are simply not enough stem cells “at the ready” within brain tissue to heal itself in the same way the skin does after a cut.
Remarkably, adipose tissue (body fat) contains the most potent source of adult stem cells in the body. These cells, isolated from adipose tissue, possess a set of very unique and powerful healing properties appropriate for addressing injury in the brain caused by stroke. The unique blend of stem and regenerative cells found in adipose tissue have been demonstrated to be both neuro-protective and can prevent premature brain cell loss. Further, they have the capability to reduce inflammation and repair or replace damaged tissue.
These special healing cells also hold as their primary mechanism the growth of new blood vessels which restores the flow of oxygen-rich blood to the brain for a wide spectrum of healing benefits. 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. Once in your brain, your stem cells are called upon to perform the important task of improving blood flow to tissues, halting destructive inflammation and premature tissue death, while ultimately replacing damaged cells.
Stem Cell Therapy for Stroke: The Procedure
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).
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.
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
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
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
What is Stroke? National Stroke Association online resource centre. Retrieved from www.stroke.org/understand-stroke/what-stroke February, 2015.