STEM CELL THERAPY FAQs
Alzheimer’s & Early Dementia
What is the latest science on Alzheimer’s and stem cell therapy?
>> DR. MARC PENN: Alzheimer’s is really a remodeling of the brain with amyloid plaques, a form of scarring, if you will, and fibrosis. So the fact that stem cells can break down fibrosis and perhaps break down amyloid plaques, activate neural stem cells to try and replace lost neurons offers patients, particularly on the early side of the Alzheimer’s spectrum, hope with stem cell infusions.
How can stem cell therapy actually improve Alzheimer’s or early dementia?
>> DR. PENN: Patients have reported to us that treatment with adult stem cells that we use at Okyanos, specifically stromal vascular fraction, has improved their recall and their ability to remember. So, that offers potential hope to patients with particularly early onset Alzheimer’s disease.
What is the treatment like for Alzheimer’s at Okyanos?
>> DR. PENN: For patients with early forgetfulness or early stage Alzheimer’s disease, the treatment is the intravenous infusion of stromal vascular fraction or the patient’s own fat-derived stem cells. They come to the clinic. We do a liposuction to get the lipoaspirate. We used the Tissue Genesis Icellator system to isolate the stem cells out of that lipoaspirate in about an hour’s time.
We then take those stem cells and infuse them back into the patient, but before we do that, we give the patient a dose of mannitol, a sugar, a very old drug, to open up the blood-brain barrier and allow the stem cells access to the brain tissue and the things that they release.
What about retreatment for Alzheimer’s?
>> DR. PENN: For those patients who feel like they’ve gotten benefit, their recall is better, things of that nature, and they notice they’re either starting to lose that benefit, or they believe they could get greater benefit, we’re happy to discuss the potential retreating.