Cerebral palsy is a condition that results from injuries or abnormalities of the brain, usually in the womb but occurring any time during 2 years after birth. It affects brain and nervous system functions such as thinking, seeing, hearing, learning, and movement.
Mesenchymal stem cells from umbilical cord are considered to be universal donor cells because they are not immediately recognized as foreign. The cells home to damaged tissue and are known to secrete molecules called trophic factors.
Trophic factors from mesenchymal stem cells are known to stimulate repair of damaged nervous tissue in both the brain and the spinal cord. Some of these are neurotrophic factors that promote neuronal growth, induce new blood vessel growth, neurogenesis and astroglial activation, encourage synaptic connection and axonal remyelination, decrease programed cell death, and regulate microglial activation. Mesenchymal stem cells stimulate brain repair after stroke and traumatic brain injury.
Animal studies show that mesenchymal stem cell can migrate into the brain and survive.
Because we utilize allogeneic cord tissue-derived mesenchymal stem cells, we are able to offer treatment to any qualified patient, not just those who saved their own cord blood at birth. We will discuss several additional advantages of allogeneic cord-derived stem cells below.
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One of our staff physicians will assign a stem cell treatment protocol after you have submitted all requested medical information and received approval. Your child’s recommended protocol may differ from the example given below:
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No stem cell product from any source, including the patient’s own, is approved by the US FDA to treat cerebral palsy.
However, human umbilical cord tissue-derived mesenchymal stem cells that were isolated and grown in our laboratory in Panama to create master cell banks have been used in the United States under US FDA regulation.
These cells served as the starting material for cellular products used in MSC clinical trials for two Duchenne’s muscular dystrophy patients under US FDA’s designation of Investigational New Drug (IND) for single-patient compassionate use. (IND 16026 DMD Single Patient).
The body’s immune system is unable to recognize umbilical cord-derived mesenchymal stem cells as foreign, and therefore they are not rejected. Human umbilical cord tissue stem cells have been administered tens of thousands of times at the Stem Cell Institute, and there has never been a single instance of rejection (graft vs. host disease). As a matter of fact, allogeneic (not the patient’s own) mesenchymal stem cells are approved to treat graft vs. host disease in Canada and New Zealand.
Umbilical cord-derived mesenchymal stem cells also proliferate/differentiate more efficiently than “older” cells, such as those found in the fat, and therefore, they are considered to be more “potent”.
The adult stem cells used to treat cerebral palsy at the Stem Cell Institute come from human umbilical cord tissue (allogeneic mesenchymal). These stem cells are expanded at Medistem Panama’s state-of-the-art laboratory.
The mesenchymal stem cells we use are recovered from donated umbilical cords following normal, healthy births. Each mother has her medical history screened and is tested for infectious diseases. Proper consent is received from each family prior to donation.
All umbilical cord-derived stem cells are screened for infectious diseases to International Blood Bank Standards before they are cleared for use in patients.
Only a small percentage of donated umbilical cords pass our rigorous screening process.
Proper follow-up is an essential part of stem cell therapy. Our primary goal is to ensure that your child is progressing safely. Regular follow-up also enables us to evaluate efficacy and improve our treatment protocols based on observed outcomes.
Therefore, our medical staff will be contacting you after 1 month, 3 months, 6 months, 9 months, and 1 year to monitor your child’s progress.