Regenerate. Repair. Restore.

Stem Cells Therapy for Parkinson's Disease and neurodegeneration

Neurodegeneration is the progressive loss of structure and/or function of neurons including death. Neurodegenerative diseases include; Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease and Huntington’s disease.

The Stem Cells Transplant Institute recommends the use of mesenchymal stem cells, derived cultured, and expanded from umbilical cord tissue, for the treatment of neurological diseases including Parkinson’s disease.

Transplantation of hUC-MSCs at sites of neuronal degeneration is a very promising approach for the treatment of different neurological diseases such as Parkinson`s Disease.

Treatment at the Stem Cells Transplant Institute could help improve the following symptoms of Parkinson´s disease:

  • Tremor
  • Slowed movement (bradykinesia)
  • Rigid muscles
  • Impaired posture and balance
  • Loss of automatic movements
  • Speech changes (softly, quickly, slur or hesitate before talking)
  • Writing changes

What do we know about Parkinson’s disease?

Parkinson’s disease is the second most common type of neurogenerative disease, affecting over 10 million people, or approximately 1% of the population worldwide, over the age of 65.

Parkinson’s disease is characterized by a progressive loss of muscle control leading to bradykinesia (slow movement), rigidity, resting tremor and postural instability. 

As symptoms worsen, it may be difficult to walk, talk, and perform simple tasks. Non-motor symptoms can include; anxiety, depression, psychosis, and dementia.1,2

The main pathological feature of Parkinson’s disease is the significant loss of dopamine neurons in the Substantia Nigra pars compacta.

The loss of the dopaminergic neurons is linked to the formation and accumulation of Lewy bodies. Dopamine is a chemical that acts as a messenger between brain cells. It plays a role in how we move, what we eat, and how we learn.

The substantia nigra, a tiny strip of tissue on both sides of the base of your brain produces dopamine. When the brain cells in the substantia nigra start to die, dopamine levels drop.

When the level of dopamine gets to low, you will begin to experience symptoms of Parkinson’s disease.

There is no cure for Parkinson’s disease and currently available therapeutic approaches only treat the symptoms of the disease

What are researchers investigating? Can stem cell therapy improve the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease?

Frustration from limited treatment options has led to an increased focus on stem cell replacement therapy, treatment intending to provide long-lasting relief from symptoms of Parkinson’s disease.

Approximately 5% of patients diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease have an inherited genetic mutation.

Researchers are currently investigating the underlying cause of Parkinson’s disease in the other 95% of cases.

When dopamine was reintroduced into the central nervous system, symptoms were decreased or reversed. This means, if stem cells can be induced into becoming dopamine producing neurons and then transplanted in affected zones, they could replace impaired cells, improving function.1,2

Researchers have shown transplanting young brain cells derived from human umbilical cord into patients with Parkinson’s disease resulted in an improvement in disease related symptoms.

Animal studies have shown mesenchymal stem cells promote neuroprotection and neurodifferentiation, by modulating neural stem cells, neurons and glial cells and axonal growth.3-11 They have the ability to repair and regenerate neurons in the brain, reduce levels of free radicals, improve synaptic connection from damaged neurons and regulate inflammation.

It is not clear how mesenchymal stem cells perform these functions, but one theory is: injected stem cells are drawn to the injured area where they release trophic factors (molecules that support cell survival) that aid in repairing damaged cells. The trophic factors can suppress the local immune system, form new blood vessels, reduce levels of free radicals, stop the damage occurring to tissue, and increase the recruitment, retention, proliferations and differentiation of stem cells.2

Animal models have shown stem cell therapy has been shown to be safe and effective.

Are there any clinical trials?

According to there are currently 23 trials being conducted worldwide evaluating stem cell therapy for Parkinson’s disease.

Two of the trials are evaluating specifically umbilical cord stem cells; there is one trial in China and one in Jordan.

Using their published data from a primate study, Chinese researchers have received approval to evaluate the safety and efficacy of human stem cells in patients with Parkinson’s Disease (A Phase I/II, Open-Label Study to Assess the Safety and Efficacy of Striatum Transplantation of Human Embryonic Stem Cells-derived Neural Precursor Cells in Patients With Parkinson’s Disease).

The study is a Phase I/II, open label, non-randomized clinical trial for 50 people diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease for more than 5 years. Results of the trial are expected in late 2020 or 2021.

What is the treatment protocol for Parkinson’s disease at the Stem Cells Transplant Institute?

The Stem Cells Transplant Institute recommends the use of hUC-MSCs for the treatment of Parkinson’s disease.

For optimal results, we recommend Aggressive Platinum Therapy (APT). APT is a 4-day treatment plan.

Each day you will receive the following:

  • Mesenchymal stem cells (MSC) cultured and expanded from human umbilical cord tissue.
  • Antioxidant therapy with vitamin C and glutathione
  • Ozone therapy
  • Platelet-rich plasma therapy (PRP)

What are the advantages of human umbilical cord mesenchymal stem cells?

  • Abundant supply containing up to 10 times more stem cells than bone marrow or adipose derived stem cells
  • hUC-MSC have immunosuppressors and immunomodulatory properties that allow their use in any individual without rejection- Human Leukocyte Antigen (HLA) matching is not necessary
  • Greater proliferation ability than adult autologous stem cells
  • They regenerate at a very rapid rate
  • They are young and very adaptive
  • They have not been impacted by the aging process
  • They have not been affected by environmental toxins
  • Umbilical cord stem cells can be administered multiple times over the course of days
  • Eliminates the need to collect stem cells from the patient’s fat or hip bone reducing pain and recovery time

What are the challenges?

We still do not understand what specifically causes Parkinson’s disease.

Current traditional treatment options lose effectiveness over time and once the effectiveness is lost that therapy will no longer improve the worsening symptoms.

Clinical trials evaluating efficacy in humans have only recently started and the results will not be available for several years.

At this time stem cell therapy does not stop the underlying cause of Parkinson’s disease and patient may need more than one treatment due to a declining effect over time.

umbilical cord donations
Intravenus Administration

How Are the Stem Cells Collected?

Our clinic focuses on obtaining healthy stem cells exclusively from umbilical cord blood donors. We collect the placenta once the baby is born, with the parent’s informed consent. Additionally, we follow strict ethical guidelines and collect stem cells from reliable and reputable sources.

How Are the Stem Cells Administered?

Our nursing staff administers the stem cells through an intravenous and intra-pulmonary route. For the most effective outcomes, intravenous administration is preferred.

About the Stem Cells Transplant Institute

Our clinic is located in Costa Rica, which is one of the most popular medical tourism destinations for stem cell therapy. At the Stem Cells Transplant Institute, we have a skilled team of doctors and medical professionals who collect and administer stem cells to treat autism and other conditions. Every patient receives the most cost-effective and top-notch care from our dedicated team.

Scientific References:

  1. Fu et al. Stem cell transplantation therapy in Parkinson’s disease. SpringerPlus (2015) 4:597
  2. Joyce et al. Mesenchymal stem cell for the treatment of neurodegenerative disease. Regen Med. 2010, November, 5(6)933-946. Doi:10.2217/rme.10.72
  3. Helena Vilaça-Faria, António J. Salgado and Fábio G. Teixeira Mesenchymal Stem Cells-derived Exosomes: A New Possible Therapeutic Strategy for Parkinson’s disease. Cells20198(2), 118; doi:3390/cells8020118
  4. Teixeira, F.G.; Carvalho, M.M.; Neves-Carvalho, A.; Panchalingam, K.M.; Behie, L.A.; Pinto, L.; Sousa, N.; Salgado, A.J. Secretome of mesenchymal progenitors from the umbilical cord acts as modulator of neural/glial proliferation and differentiation. Stem Cell Rev.201511, 288–297. [Google Scholar] [CrossRef] [PubMed]
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