STEM CELL THERAPY FAQs
Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)
What is the latest science on TBI and stem cell therapy?
>> DR. MARC PENN: Traumatic brain injury is characterized by two things. One is scarring within the brain and also the loss of neurons. Adult stem cell therapy offers the potential to remodel that scar or prevent further scar formation in the brain as well as activation of neural progenitor cells or the stem cells within the brain that can come and try to replace those cells or support the living neurons that are there.
How can stem cell therapy actually improve a TBI?
>> DR. PENN: There are multiple symptoms of traumatic brain injury, including generalized pain, loss of cognitive or executive function, and then motor dysfunction as well. Adult stem cells, through remodeling of the scar, perhaps the growth of new neurons, support of existing neurons, offers the potential to decrease the generalized pain, improve cognitive or executive function, and ultimately improve any motor dysfunction that may be present.
What is the treatment for traumatic brain injury?
>> DR. PENN: For patients who come to Okyanos with a history of traumatic brain injury, they undergo a liposuction. The lipoaspirate is put into the Tissue Genesis Icellator system, which isolates the stem cells within the fat. Those cells are then infused back into the patient, but before we give them their stem cells back, we give them a dose of mannitol, a sugar that opens up the blood-brain barrier allowing the stem cells and the things they release access to the brain tissue to try and treat the patient.
For TBI patients you’ve treated at Okyanos, what are the outcomes?
>> DR. PENN: In the patients we’ve treated with traumatic brain injury, we have some evidence of improved cognitive or executive function, significant improvement of sleep, which has led to better activities of daily living and better view of life. Spouses have noticed significant differences as far as stability of mood, less anger, things of that nature. So, we’ve been very encouraged by what we’ve seen today.