We Have Great Medications For Parkinsons Disease
Even though Parkinsons is a progressive, degenerative condition, we do have awesome medications for it. See, we know that loss of dopamine is the biggest issue. And physicians have actually been treating that symptom of PD for over forty years in a couple of different ways.
These are sort of the expendable crewmen of Parkinsons treatment. Dopamine agonists have some of the same effects as dopamine and can control the early stages of Parkinsons symptoms. And there are so many of them that Im not going to bother listing any.
Long story short: dopamine agonists comprise the first line of Parkinsons defense and can work well in the early stages after initial diagnosis.
Yall know your brain runs your whole body, right? So your body has several ways of protecting it, one of which is the blood-brain barrier. This intricate biological system guards the brain, much like the kind of security youd expect to see in important government buildings. Only things that really need to be in the brain get through.
So if we want to put dopamine in the brain to treat Parkinsons, we have to find a way to get it past the blood-brain barrier. Because the brain thinks dopamine comes from the brain, so it doesnt have a natural mechanism for allowing it past the barrier.
This is usually the point at which patients begin looking at more aggressive treatment options, including the addition of some of the prescriptions below.
Stem Cells For Parkinson’s Disease Are Safe
According the Venkataraman and colleagues, “A subjective improvement was found in symptoms like facial expression, gait, and freezing episodes 2 patients have significantly reduced the dosages of PD medicine. These results indicate that our protocol seems to be safe, and no serious adverse events occurred after stem-cell transplantation in PD patients.”
As stated in a 2005 study held by Brian Snyder,
Stem cells offer the potential to provide a virtually unlimited supply of optimized dopaminergic neurons that can provide enhanced benefits in comparison to fetal mesencephalic transplants. Stem cells have now been shown to be capable of differentiating into dopamine neurons that provide benefits following transplantation in animal models of Parkinson’s disease.
Learn more about DVC Stem’s protocol for Parkinson’s Disease here:
Venkataramana, N. K., Kumar, S. K. V., Balaraju, S., Radhakrishnan, R. C., Bansal, A., Dixit, A., â¦ Totey, S. M. . Open-labeled study of unilateral autologous bone-marrow-derived mesenchymal stem cell transplantation in Parkinson’s disease. Retrieved from https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1931524409002205#!
Unified Parkinson’s Disease Rating Scale. . Retrieved from https://www.sciencedirect.com/topics/medicine-and-dentistry/unified-parkinsons-disease-rating-scale
“Dr. Cona is a leading edge stem cell treatment physician”
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Lopezs dopamine high and the feeling that his brain and body were their pre-Parkinsons selves lasted two days. Then he was back to baseline: no worse, but no better. Still, he said, what we did was stop the deterioration. They gave me another shot at life. Without the cell implants, Lopez said, I think I would be dead now.
At the insistence of the FDA, the procedure at Cornell shot cells into only the left side of Lopezs brain: The agency said that if things went south, it would be twice as bad if Lopez had cell implants on both sides of his brain. I disagreed, Lopez said. I should have had both sides done at once. By requiring two surgeries, he said, the FDA doubled the risk and the cost.
But the first procedure didnt seem to cause harm: no infection, no tumors, no hemorrhaging, no worsening of symptoms. On March 6, 2018, another batch of dopamine cells made from Lopezs skin cells underwent a 20-minute journey from Dana-Farber, not to Manhattan but to Mass. General, which was now equipped to do the surgery. Schweitzer transplanted them into the right side of Lopezs putamen.
This time, Lopez didnt have a Lourdesian experience. No one is quite sure why, but it might be that fresher cells dont give the brain a quick dopamine hit. But they might form enduring synapses. Eventually.
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How Can Stem Cells Help Heal This Condition
So, how do Parkinsons disease and stem cells relate? In a nutshell, Parkinsons disease is a degenerative condition. That means the body slowly loses ability over time in direct correlation with the nerve cells it loses. Stem cells constitute one of the viable treatments for Parkinsons disease in that they can replace those cells.
According to recent studies, transplanted cells in studies about stem cells and Parkinsons disease have shown the ability to do the following:
- survive in the brain long after transplantation
- function in similar ways to cells in much younger individuals
- produce long-term links such as that in normal, healthy brains
- grow new axons that send messages throughout the brain effectively, meaning that patients who receive the treatment can function much more normally
With these new treatments, physicians may soon have the power to restore motor function to Parkinsons sufferers, reversing the effects of the disease and eventually curing the disease completely, resulting in a normal brain with the ability to form lasting connections, memories, and thoughts.
Stem cells have another possible use as well: Researchers can use them to create effective models of the brain on which to test new drugs or therapies that may also help reduce or reverse the effects of Parkinsons disease. As with other uses of stem cells, this research is still in its early stages as well.
So What Are Stem Cells
Stem cells are cells that have not yet specialized in the body, meaning they have not grown to a particular type of cell with a specific function . A stem cell can become many different cell types in the human body. The process of stem cells become new types of cells is called differentiation. This process is the most important aspect of stem cell therapies, as the cells become the type of cells required for your body to heal. Stem cells are also self-replicating. This allows them to multiply into identical copies of the stem cells that have already gone through differentiation in the body. For example, if stem cells were used to treat a neurological injury, cells administered during treatment could become nerve cells, and then replicate to create exponentially more nerve cells on their own. This drastically increases the effectiveness of stem cell treatments over time.
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What Are The Symptoms Of Parkinson’s Disease
Parkinson’s DIsease can include a variety of symptoms that vary in severity and type amongst the affected population. Early signs of the condition can sometimes go unnoticed but as the disease progresses one can expect these symptoms:
- Difficulty speaking
- Difficulty writing
- Loss of automatic movements
- Slowed overall movement
- Muscle stiffness
Thoughts On Stem Cells And Parkinsons Disease
That is a very exciting news! The revival of nervous system by planting stem cells into dead nerve cells sounds like something that can also be applied to many other diseases and injuries. Although I know, the research has just begun, but I think in the future, there is a possibility that the same technique can be used to repair injuries that damage the nervous system like paralysis. Sometimes I get astonished by the progress that humans have made from just discovering how to use stones as tools to doing researches like this. If you think that way, our possibilities for future is unlimited!
Although I dont know much about Parkinsons disease, its very exciting that new developments are being made to help end the suffering of so many people who develop this disease. Moreover, if we can determine what causes the disease, perhaps it can be prevented before it even begins. While these studies are still in their early phases, it is certain that these positive results will help researchers secure funding for further investigation. In the future, I hope that developments in stem cell research, and other areas of science, can help cure these debilitating diseases.
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Cell Replacement Therapy For Parkinsons Disease Hurdles And Solutions
A successful cell transplantation has to be safe, well-tolerated by the recipient, and efficacious in reversing the symptoms of disease. It has been extremely well-established that loss of dopamine in the striatum is responsible for PD. Levodopa, which is a dopamine precursor, has been used to treat PD patients since that replaces the dopamine that is lost . Moreover, numerous animal studies have shown that transplanting dopaminergic neurons improves motor symptoms in PD animals . Even though there was sufficient evidence supporting that dopaminergic cells are clinically relevant for cell therapy in PD, there were aspects relating to their safety and reproducibility. Below, we list some of the hurdles that were eventually overcome so that stem cell derivatives can be used in the clinic.
Hurdle 1 deriving the right neural cell type for transplantation
Hurdle 2 eliminating the risk of tumorigenesis
Hurdle 3 transplanting floorplate progenitor cells, fully differentiated SNpc dopaminergic neurons or an intermediate?
Hurdle 4 source of stem cells: autologous or allogeneic? Fetal, ESC or iPSC-derived?
Hurdle 5 how many cells to transplant? Where to transplant?
What Are The Current Treatments For Parkinsons Disease
Drug therapy is the primary way that doctors manage the symptoms of Parkinsons disease. While these medications can help control the symptoms and slow the progression of the disease, many patients experience the onset of side effects including diarrhea, nausea and vomiting, loss of appetite, lightheadedness and low blood pressure, confusion, fatigue, involuntary movements, changes in behaviors, and difficulty urinating. Parkinsons drugs also become less effective over time and require higher doses. As a result, not all individuals can tolerate these conventional treatments and others see an incomplete response.
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What Are Stem Cells
Stem cells are a class of immature cells that are able to differentiate, or mature, into specialised cell types. They are found in many parts of the body. In nature, stem cells come from two main sources: embryos , and adult tissue , and are generally characterised by their potential to differentiate into particular cell types, such as skin, muscle or bone. In recent years, stem cells have also generated mature, specialised cells such as skin cells.
As well as the ability to differentiate into another cell type with a specialised function, stem cells are also characterised by the fact that they are able to divide and multiply to form copies of themselves.
These two distinct properties mean stem cells can serve as an internal repair system, dividing without limit to replenish other cells.
What Are The Stages Of Parkinsons Disease
- Parkinson Stage 1: Only mild symptoms occur in facial expressions or slight tremor. However, the daily life is only minimally affected and only one sided.
- Parkinson Stage 2: At this stage symptoms are getting worse and affect both sides. The tremor and waling problems are getting worse. Often this is the stage where L-Dopamine is employed.
- Parkinson Stage 3: Loss of balance and slowed movements characterize this stage. Living independently is still possible but symptoms significantly impair daily activities.
- Parkinson Stage 4: The Symptoms are severely limiting every activity, especially walking. Movements are still possible but may require aid. Usually living alone is not possible at this stage any more.
- Parkinson Stage 5: The final and most debilitating stage, where stiffness in legs makes movement impossible. The person requires full time nursing and is bound to the wheelchair. Usually many non-motoric symptoms set like delusions, hallucinations and depressions.
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Are There Stem Cell Therapies For Parkinsons
Researchers are working on it. Stem cells, often derived from a patient with Parkinsons disease, are currently being studied extensively in the laboratory, both to further our understanding of the molecular mechanisms that cause cell death in PD, and also as a test environment for new medications. However, there are currently no stem cell treatments for Parkinsons disease that have been developed and tested to the point that we are sure that they help and do not cause harm. Researchers however, are furiously underway to develop such a treatment. The research is focused on deciphering the best source of stem cells to use, the best ways to turn the stem cells into dopaminergic neurons and the best ways to introduce the cells into the brain for maximal effect and minimal harm.
People Should Not Be Selling Stem Cells For Parkinsons Disease
Did you notice the common thread among the studies I covered? Every single one of them used brain surgery to place the cells. Right now, thats the only surefire way to get stem cells to the tissue affected by Parkinsons Disease.
So if you happen to search for a PD treatment and find someone offering stem cells for it, I hope youll first check to see if theyre a neurosurgeon. Specifically one specializing in stereotactic brain surgery .
If a chiropractor, pain management doctor, orthopedic surgeon, witch doctor, naturopath, shaman, priest, or alien offers you a stem cell treatment for PD, please dont mortgage your house for it. Please dont use your kids college tuition for it.
Please ask a thousand questions, the most important of which are: how will this get to my PD cells? How many times have you done this before, and what were the results? Is this part of a clinical study? How do you know this is safe?
If someone offers you or a loved one a stem cell treatment for PD outside of a clinical trial or study, without the help of a neurosurgeon, you should not expect success. Or safety.
In case theres any lingering doubt, my personal favorite PD treatment is the electrical spaghetti noodle implant. They do amazing things and have a long history of safe and effective use.
Im excited to see stem cells come onto the PD field in the near future. I really am. But I know they arent ready for general clinical use in Parkinsons Disease just yet.
The Stem Cell Infusion
The stem cell infusion will include the intravenous transplant of 300 million cord tissue-derived mesenchymal stem cells . These cells are only administered by our Medical Director, over the course of a few hours to ensure proper circulation and maximum control over the procedure. The infusion occurs at our facility in our VIP treatment room, with a private adjacent space for resting and recuperation post-treatment.
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Kim knew it would take tens of millions of dopamine neurons to have a prayer of helping a Parkinsons patient. The recipe for turning undifferentiated iPS cells into dopamine neurons wasnt perfect, however, which presented a problem: The remaining iPS cells can seed tumors.
Even after two or three weeks of differentiation, there can remain undifferentiated cells, Kim said. If he turned 99.9% of iPS cells into dopamine neurons, that would leave 10,000 iPS cells. Hitting 99.99% would leave 1,000. How efficient was efficient enough? We realized we needed to remove all of them, Kim said.
That meant looking for a killer. Kim and colleagues in South Korea pored over a database of compounds, searching for any that target a gene called survivin, which is abundant in iPS cells. They got a hit: quercetin. Testing the Chinese herbal compound on his iPS cells, Kim found, if you treat the cells once, for 12 hours, while theyre differentiating, quercetin completely removes the undifferentiated cells.
It was time to start thinking about putting the cells in someones brain.
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Why We Believe This
Stem cells have the potential to develop into every kind of cell found in the body.
This means that stem cells could be used to treat a wide range of conditions, including Parkinson’s, where new cells could be used to repair and replace damaged tissue.
Scientists have been able to turn stem cells into dopamine-producing nerve cells the type of brain cells affected in Parkinson’s.
Are Stem Cells A Cure For Parkinsons Disease
Currently not. However, stem cells already hold a great potential for treating most neurodegenerative diseases, especially Parkinsons Disease, to slow down or prevent the progression of the disease. This makes it worthwhile for patients and medical professionals alike to consider stem cell-based therapies for specific cases. Each case must be evaluated individually to ensure that the benefits outweigh the risks. In general, it can be said that for cell-based therapeutics which act on a transmitter and paracrine level, the individual success is currently not possible to be predicted. We therefore recommend that you contact us to get an expert opinion on your case and the possibilities we can offer.
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When Will Stem Cell Therapy Be Available As A Parkinson’s Treatment
Whilst there has been considerable progress in stem cell research in the last decade, particularly for the treatment of blood and immune system disorders, scientists are still some way from being able to start clinical trials using stem cell therapy for Parkinsons. No-one can predict how long it is likely to take for stem cell therapy to be a viable treatment for Parkinsons.
Also, even if a therapy is approved, it is unlikely to work for everyone just as no one medication is suitable for everyone.
At this stage, scientists do not know which type of stem cell, if any, may eventually lead to a successful treatment or cure.
The key challenges for scientists at present are:
- to understand the way cells grow and differentiate
- to identify methods to differentiate the stem cells into the cell types needed in the brains of people with Parkinsons
- to establish the best ways of getting stems cells into the right part of the brain.