Dementia is not a specific disease, but a medical term used to describe a syndrome, or group of diseases, that affect memory, problem solving, and other cognitive abilities. The most common form of dementia is Alzheimer’s disease, which accounts for approximately 60-80 percent of dementia cases. Alzheimer’s disease like many neurodegenerative diseases including Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and Parkinson’s disease (PD) remains untreatable by current traditional medicine. Alzheimer’s is the result of damaged neurons or nerve cells in the brain. Once the cells in the brain are damaged, they can no longer communicate with other cells resulting in cognitive and bodily dysfunction and ultimately death. The Stem Cells Transplant Institute in Costa Rica, uses government approved stem cell therapy to treat patients with Alzheimer’s disease.
The exact cause of Alzheimer’s disease is still unknown, but experts believe it develops as a result of multiple factors including age, family history and carrying the APOE-e4 gene. Additional modifiable risk factors include cardiovascular disease, education, hearing loss, depression and diet. Four key features appear as a result of pathological damage;1. Amyloid-beta (Aß) plaques, 2. Neurofibrillary tangles, 3. Neuroinflammation, and 4. Mass neuronal and synaptic loss. Amyloid-beta plaques are sticky clumps of protein fragments that accumulate and attack brain cells, leading to their death. Neurofibrillary tangles are twisted fibers of Tau protein that build up inside the neurons of Alzheimer’s patients damaging neural structures and inhibiting the transport of nutrients. Neuroinflammation is caused by the activation microglia which mediate immune responses. Microglia are activated and begin producing cytokines that increase neuroinflammation. All of these factors result in mass neuronal and synaptic loss causing the cortex region to atrophy or decrease in size. It is the neuronal and synaptic loss that is most closely correlated with cognitive decline.3-7
Current FDA approved pharmaceutical therapies target amyloid-beta (Aß). Although Aß plays a significant role in the etiology of Alzheimer’s disease, it is not the cause and none of the currently available medications slow or stop the progression of damage to the neurons. FDA approved treatments may help temporarily improve the symptoms but the effectiveness varies from person to person and duration is limited. Stem cell treatment, at the Stem Cells Transplant Institute, can help improve the symptoms associated Alzheimer’s disease and may help slow the progression of the disease.
To better understand how stem cell therapy works, researchers evaluated the results from twenty-three clinical trials in animal models. The review was published in the journal, “Current Alzheimer Research” in March of 20171. Injecting animals with mesenchymal stem cells resulted in:
- Increased expression of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) which stimulates the formation of new blood vessels
- Decreased memory deficiency
- Improved cognitive function
- A decrease in proinflammatory cytokines
- An increase in anti-inflammatory cytokines such as interleukin 10
- Improved spatial learning and memory
- Reduced expression of amyloid-beta
- Increased hippocampal neurogenesis
In nine of the twenty-three studies, scientists evaluated the safety of mesenchymal stem cells and in all studies, mesenchymal stem cell therapy was shown to be safe1. The Stem Cells Transplant Institute uses adipose derived mesenchymal stem cells to treat Alzheimer’s disease.
The Orange County Register in Orange County, California published an article in March of 2017 sharing the results of the first patient enrolled in a phase I trial in humans evaluating the safety of adipose derived stem cells for the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease. Dr. Christopher Duma is a board-certified neurosurgeon specializing in surgical brain tumor management and the surgical treatment of movement disorder. Jack Sage was the first of twenty patients enrolled in the phase I trial called “Intracerebroventricular injection of autologous abdominal fat-derived non-genetically altered stem cells”. Since November 2014 the patient has received eight injections. In the article Dr. Duma explains safety is the only endpoint of the trial and if approved, efficacy will be evaluated in a future phase II trial. However, the article also states Dr. Duma is excited by the results he is seeing in Mr. Sage; from March of 2015 to September of 2015, cognition scores rose from 45 to 54 on the 100 point Memory Performance Index and his hippocampus volume has risen from the 5th percentile at his first treatment to the 48th percentile at his eighth treatment. The author of the article quoted Dr. Duma, “You can’t make a global conclusion based on one patient, but it’s a huge turning point.”
Researchers across the globe are working hard to find a cure for Alzheimer’s disease. The experts at the Stem Cells Transplant Institute in Costa Rica believe in the power of stem cell therapy. Using an FDA approved method and protocol for harvesting and isolating adipose derived stem cells for autologous reimplantation, the Stem Cells Transplant Institute provides government approved stem cell therapy for the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease. Contact us today to see if stem cell therapy is right for you.
- Bali, P. et. al. Potential for Stem Cells Therapy in Alzheimer’s Disease: Do Neurotrophic Factors Play Critical Role? Current Alzheimer Research, 2017, 14, 208-220 DOI: 10.2174/1567205013666160314 145347
- Keith Sharon, Is Alzheimer’s treatment of injecting stem cells into the brain a breakthrough or quackery. Orange County Register, Published: March 3, 2017, Updated: April 4, 2017.