Alzheimer’s Disease (AD) is a common neurological disorder which affects millions of people throughout the world. Although its exact cause is not known, researchers believe environmental and lifestyle factors as well as genetics play a role. Plaque and toxin deposits in the brain cause once-healthy neurons (nerve cells) to work less efficiently together and, eventually, die. As this damage spreads to key parts of the brain, memories and cognitive function become drastically impaired while the brain itself actually begins to shrink in size.

According to the US Centers for Disease Control, the number of people with Alzheimer’s Disease and early dementia is expected to triple over the next 40 years. The growing ‘grey tsunami’ in the US and worldwide will have a dramatic impact on patients, families and health systems.

Stem Cell Therapy and Alzheimer’s Disease

Because AD is a progressive disorder, symptoms develop and worsen over time. Many with AD suffer from memory dysfunction, confusion and inability to learn, and some can develop psychotic symptoms such as hallucination and paranoia. The later stages of Alzheimer’s may bring about such severe brain tissue damage that the body begins to shut down.  Adult stem cell therapy offers potential hope to patients with particularly early onset Alzheimer’s disease.

With Alzheimer’s disease, the brain is remodeled with amyloid plaques, which is a form of scarring and fibrosis.  Stem cells can break down the fibrosis and potentially, the amyloid plaques. It has the potential to activate neural stem cells to try and replace lost neurons.

Patients who come to Okyanos for treatment for Alzheimer’s and early dementia report improved recall and the ability to remember.

Watch our video, Frequently Asked Questions on stem cell therapy, Alzheimer’s Disease and early dementia:

 
 

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:

  1. First, water-assisted fat harvesting is done to obtain a sufficient amount 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 delivery using a proprietary closed/sterile, fully automated CGMP cell processing system. In about 65 minutes, the highly potent SVF is ready for direct injections and IV infusions.
  3. Before stem and regenerative cell infusion begins, mannitol, which is a sugar, is administered to facilitate the cells crossing the blood brain barrier for a potentially more effective cell delivery.
  4. In accordance with the individualized treatment plan prepared for each patient, adult stem and regenerative cells are then delivered intravenously.

The Best Care & Safety

Treatment timeframes are usually three days and may vary slightly depending on the personalized plan:

  1. Day 1: Pre-operative session includes an office visit with the medical staff for a final detailed review of the patient’s treatment plan and answer any questions from the patient and family members.
  2. Day 2: The patient undergoes treatment and briefly rests in our comfortable facility before being escorted back to their hotel for the evening.
  3. Day 3: Post-operative session involves a brief physical at Okyanos and a discharge plan discussion. The physician reviews the post treatment recommendations, the follow up communication plan and clears the patient to go home.

For a more detailed understanding of what you can expect, watch our video series with Gretchen Dezelick, RN and Director of Clinical Operations:

For a detailed understanding of stem cell safety at Okyanos, watch our video below.

References 

To learn more about stem cells, visit our FAQs: Stem Cell Therapy page. There are also links to Publications about stem cell therapy and Clinical Research related to specific conditions available on this site.

National Library of Medicine

National Institute on Aging

US Centers for Disease Control

The Alzheimer’s Association