Traumatic brain injury (TBI) can occur when a bump, jolt, blow, or other impact causes damage to the brain. Every year, millions of people in the U.S. suffer brain injuries. The worst injuries can lead to permanent brain damage or death. Half of all TBIs are from motor vehicle accidents. Military personnel in combat zones are also at risk. Up to 75% of people with severe head injuries also suffer serious damage to the neck bones or other parts of the body during the same injury.
TBIs can have wide-ranging physical, emotional and cognitive effects. Some signs or symptoms may appear immediately after the traumatic event, while others may appear days or weeks later. Anyone with signs of moderate or severe TBI should receive medical attention as soon as possible. Because little can be done to reverse the initial brain damage caused by trauma, medical personnel try to stabilize an individual with TBI and focus on preventing further injury. Primary concerns include insuring proper oxygen supply to the brain and the rest of the body, maintaining adequate blood flow, and controlling blood pressure.
TBI patients suffer with multiple problems including:
- Nausea or vomiting
- Fatigue or drowsiness
- Difficulty sleeping
- Blurred vision, ringing in the ears, a bad taste in the mouth or changes in the ability to smell
- Feeling depressed or anxious, profound confusion
- Agitation, combativeness or other unusual behavior
- Slurred speech
- Sensitivity to light or sound
- Memory or concentration problems
- Mood changes or mood swings
Stem Cell Therapy and Traumatic Brain Injury
Traumatic brain injuries can be improved with adult stem cells by remodeling the scar within the brain and recruiting new neurons that may help with chronic pain. Stem cells can also improve executive function or motor function. In the patients we’ve treated with traumatic brain injury, we have evidence of improved cognitive or executive function, and significant improvement of sleep, which has led to better activities of daily living and better view of life.
Watch our video, Frequently Asked Questions with Dr. Marc Penn, on stem cell therapy and TBIs:
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 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.
- 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.
- 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:
- 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.
- Day 2: The patient undergoes treatment and briefly rests in our comfortable facility before being escorted back to their hotel for the evening.
- 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 to expect, watch the below 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.
National Institutes of Health
Medline Plus, National Library of Medicine
Harvard Medical School, Harvard Health Publishing