Stem Cell Therapy for spinal cord injury: Theo Kostoulas

Theo Kostoulas is a T-6 complete spinal cord injury patient. He received a course of 16 stem cell therapy injections using umbilical cord-derived stem cells and his own bone marrow-derived stem cells. The cells were injected both intravenously and intrathecally (into the spinal fluid). During his stay in Panama and as part of his treatment protocol, Theo went to 19 physical therapy sessions over the course of month.

“I can definitely say that after the second injection, I immediately actually started getting some leg sensation and touch back from below my injury level. It was me lying in bed while my mother was putting my sock on my feet. I was actually able to feel that and it was pretty amazing because I haven’t had and feeling or sensation at all from my injury level of T-6. Now, more towards the end here, I have actually been able to have bladder sensation. I am a person that usually cath’ed myself every four hours but now because I do have this sensation coming back, I tend to wait until I have the need to have to go. So it can be anywhere from six to seven hours. If I need to drink a lot of water before coming to treatment, I know ahead of time whether I need to cath myself sooner or not.”

Autologous bone marrow-derived cell therapy combined with physical therapy induces functional improvement in chronic spinal cord injury patients

Cell Transplant. 2013 Feb 26. [Epub ahead of print]

El-Kheir WA, Gabr H, Awad MR, Ghannam O, Barakat Y, Farghali HA, Maadawi ZM, Ewes I, Sabaawy HE.

Abstract

Spinal cord injuries (SCI) cause sensory loss and motor paralysis and are treated with physical therapy, but most patients fail to recover due to limited neural regeneration. Here we describe a strategy in which treatment with autologous adherent bone marrow cells is combined with physical therapy to improve motor and sensory functions in early-stage chronic SCI patients

In a phase I/II controlled single-blind clinical trial (clinicaltrials.gov identifier: NCT00816803), 70 chronic cervical and thoracic SCI patients with injury durations of at least 6 months were treated with either intrathecal injection(s) of autologous adherent bone marrow cells combined with physical therapy, or with physical therapy alone. Patients were evaluated with clinical examinations, electrophysiological somatosensory evoked potential, MRI imaging, and functional independence measurements.

Chronic cervical and thoracic SCI patients treated with autologous adherent bone marrow cells combined with physical therapy showed functional improvements over patients in the control group treated with physical therapy alone, and there were no cell therapy-related side effects. At 18 months posttreatment, 23 of the 50 cell therapy-treated cases (46 percent) showed sustained improvement using the American Spinal Injury Association (ASIA) Impairment Scale (AIS). Compared to those patients with cervical injuries, a higher rate of functional improvement was achieved in thoracic SCI patients with shorter durations of injury and smaller cord lesions.

Therefore, when combined with physical therapy, autologous adherent bone marrow cell therapy appears to be a safe and promising therapy for patients with chronic spinal cord injuries. Randomized controlled multicenter trials are warranted.

Stem cell treatments for spinal cord injury: Daniel Campbell

After stem cell therapy at the Stem Cell Institute in Panama, C-6 incomplete spinal cord injury patient, Daniel Campbell describes how his condition has improved since his first treatment. Daniel is in Panama for his second treatment during this recording

“…The trajectory of my recovery drastically took an upward turn. I got grip back, got a lot stronger and my blood pressure issue sort of went out the window. My lower back started firing so when I lean back in my chair, I don’t just fall.

Most recently my hip flexors started firing in certain positions so I can assist the therapist while crawling. Bowel and bladder sensation has gotten better. I have hot and cold sensation in my hands now. Incontinence is a thing of the past.

Allogeneic and autogolous stem cell therapy combined with physical rehabilitation: A case report on a chronically injured man with quadriplegia

Allogeneic and autogolous stem cell therapy combined with physical rehabilitation - A case report on a chronically injured man with quadriplegia

Daniel Leonard in Panama

This is a research paper written by Rebecca Johnston, Daniel Leonard’s sister. She recently graduated from a Physical Therapy degree program, and wrote her Capstone paper about Daniel’s stem cell therapy treatment in Panama.

Daniel is presented anonymously in the paper, but Rebecca and Daniel have given their permission for this paper to be shared. Daniel’s ASIA scores (pre and post treatment) are in the appendix of this paper.

 

Allogeneic and autogolous stem cell therapy combined with physical rehabilitation: A case report on a chronically injured man with quadriplegia

Abstract:

Background and Purpose: Stem cell therapy for SCI is a potentially promising treatment with increasing interest. This case report describes the use of a particular stem cell therapy protocol for a patient with chronic spinal cord injury, and describes his subsequent therapy and outcomes.

Case Description: The patient is a 29-year-old male who is chronically injured from a cervical spinal injury, resulting in quadriplegia. The patient was treated with a combined protocol of intrathecal (IT) and intravaneous (IV) allogeneic MSC and CD34+ cells and IT autologous BMMC at 6 ½ years post-injury. The results track the patient’s physical therapy progress until 6 months following stem cell treatment.

Outcomes: Recovery of strength in upper extremity and lower extremity muscle groups was noted, along with a functional increase in grip strength, ability to ambulate with assistance, and a significant decrease in daily medications.
Discussion: This case supports further investigation into treatment of chronically injured SCI patients with stem cell therapy followed by physical therapy.

Manuscript word count: 4321

A few highlights:

“After the patient underwent the stem cell treatment and returned to outpatient physical therapy in his hometown clinic in the United States, his MMT scores were tested over the period of 5 months post-stem cell treatment…. The patient did not decrease in strength in any of the muscles tested, and experienced improvements in 6/13 upper extremity muscle groups, and 8/9 lower extremity muscle groups.”

“The patient also had an increase in grip strength. His grip strength was measured by his occupational therapist to be 5 lbs on the right and 25 lbs on the left at one month before his stem cell treatment. Six months later, his grip strength was measured to be 22 lbs on the right and 36 lbs on the left. The patient reported that this increase in grip strength led to functional improvements, such as being able to self-catheterize, which he was completely unable to do since his injury.”

“The patient was also able to ambulate for the first time in 5 years at approximately 4 months after finishing his treatment. He was able to ambulate in partial weight bearing with the harness and max assist of two for 40 yards at .5 MPH.”


The original post on Daniel Leonard’s blog can be found here.

Stem cell therapy for spinal cord injury: Trish Stressman

Stem cell recipient Trish Stressman discusses her recovery from spinal cord injury after undergoing stem cell therapy at the Stem Cell Institute in Panama City, Panama. Ms. Stressman has regained control of her core and is now able to stand and walk with a walker.

I now have my abs, back, obliques, hip flexors, and glutes all contracting!

“My name is Trish Stressman. On May 26, 2007 I was in an ATV accident and suffered a burst fracture of my T-6 vertebrae, which left me with a bruised spinal cord. I was labeled a complete spinal cord injury with no movement or feeling below my T-6 injury line. Two years later I found out about Cell Medicine. I wish that I would have found out even earlier because it was great to have “hope” again. I went to Costa Rica for my stem cell treatment. The facilities there were great. They were very clean, professional, organized and modern. The Dr.’s at Cell Medicine and at the Cima Hospital were amazing. They always took lots of time with me and they truly cared about me and my recovery. I always felt safe and knew I could contact them at any time. The Physical Therapy there was also amazing. Within two months of getting the umbilical cord blood and my own bone marrow stem cells through intrathecal injections and IV’s I gained a lot. I now have my abs, back, obliques, hip flexors, and glutes all contracting! I am working now to bring them to full strength and they are almost there. I can stand for an hour now locking my own hips in place while not placing my hands on any support. My knees are not locking on their own yet but I hope to gain that back in the future.”

– Trish Stressman

Stem cell therapy for spinal cord injury: Juan Carlos Murillo

Juan Carlos Murillo is a commercial airline pilot who suffered spinal cord injuries in 4 separate areas of his spinal cord. Doctors told him that his injury was “complete” and that he would never walk again. After completing four rounds of stem cells at the Stem Cell Institute in Panama City, Panama, Juan Carlos is walking again, driving a car and has recently passed his commercial airline pilot physical examination. He expects to begin flying again for an airline within the next few months.

“The Stem Cell Institute states that stem cell therapy is not a miracle cure, but I think for us, the patients, our parents and all of our relatives, it is a miracle cure…”

UPDATE May 2011

Juan Carlos Murillo is a commercial airline pilot who suffered spinal cord injuries in 4 separate areas of his spinal cord. Doctors told him that his injury was “complete” and that he would never walk again. After completing four rounds of stem cells at the Stem Cell Institute in Panama City, Panama, Juan Carlos is walking again, driving a car and has recently passed his commercial airline pilot physical examination. He expects to begin flying again for an airline within the next few months.

“The Stem Cell Institute states that stem cell therapy is not a miracle cure, but I think for us, the patients, our parents and all of our relatives, it is a miracle cure…” – Juan Carlos Murillo

Before he received stem cells, from the waist down, Juan Carlos had no sensation, no movement and was suffering from significant neuropathic pain. He was classified a ASIA “A”. After his first course of stem cells in November 2008, his neuropathic pain was reduced on a scale of 1 to 10 from a 10 beforehand to a 3 afterwards.

His second course of stem cells in February 2009, Juan Carlos starting experiencing movement in his left leg and feeling in certain areas of his leg. He also started gaining muscle mass.
At the time of his third round in June 2009, Juan Carlo was driving an automatic car with his left leg and taking his first steps with a walker and crutches. He had about 80% sensitivity in his left leg.

Juan Carlos received his fourth round in November 2010. By that time, he had recovered his right leg and discontinued using crutches to walk. He was now able to walk with a cane and drive his manual transmission car. He now competes in 4×4 races.

He has now passed his commercial pilot physical. He has started flying again and expects to be employed once more as a commercial pilot within the next one or two months.

November 2010
I am a commercial pilot. On May 13th of 2008 was in a plane crash in the town of Cartago in Costa Rica. As a result of this accident I suffered a complete lesion at L1 and fracture of T12, L1 and L2. I had two surgeries in Costa Rica and one in Chile to stabilize my spine leaving me with 8 screws and 4 titanium rods from T11 to L3 and a titanium spacer for my L1 vertebrae. After this my condition did not improve. I had complete paralysis from the hips down, suffered from neuropathic pain, which on scale from 0 to 10, most commonly reached 10. After returning from my last surgery I was offered stem cell treatment with stem cells from umbilical cord which began in October 2008 with five intrathecal (lumbar puncture) injections. A few weeks after finishing this treatment my neuropathic pain become less common and mostly low-intensity. I also regained bladder control. I received a second treatment in February 2009 with 5 other applications. After this I began to notice changes in my legs with some muscle contractions and sensitivity in certain places. I continued my physical therapy and was able to have better contractions and started to regain strength and contractions in new places. I also regained my bowel function and sexual function. My last treatment was in June 2009 with five intrathecal and 2 intravenous injections of stem cells. After this treatment I could stand up and take a few steps on crutches because I had regained enough strength in my left leg and had already started to have movement in my right leg. As of this writing (October, 2010) I am able to walk without any aids or appliances. I have recovered almost 100% of my right leg and over 80% of my left leg. I have resumed my daily activities like driving and walking. I recently I passed my physical exam and now can fly again. In recent tests and pictures taken of my spinal column there is still a lesion at L1 but I continue walking. I am continuing to recover day by day while in the next few days I will go back for another treatment with the hope that I will be able to be as normal as possible.

Stem cell therapy for spinal cord injury: CBS News – Gina McLoud

Working to Walk Again
Chris McKinnon – CBS News KRE TV

A year ago Brandy Moss was just like any 16 year old. Moss doesn’t remember the car accident that left her paralyzed from the chest down, only what doctors told her at the hospital.

She explained, “I was going to pick my mom up from work and I went over a hill, the guy was on my side of the road and we just clashed.”

Moss does not like to look backwards so she continues to focus on what is ahead for her, “Even if it’s just little ways like helping me move
my fingers or something, even if it’s not walking, it would make life
so much easier.”

Her sights are now set on a stem-cell procedure, which is available in Panama.

Moss explained, “It’s my chance to walk.”

Gina McLoud, from Delta knows first hand how important this procedure can be. She’s had two stem cell procedures done, the first said, gave her results within a month. Once confined to her wheelchair, McLoud is now able to stand and walk but it hasn’t come easy.

She explained, “It’s not a miracle, it’s not a cure. You have to work
very hard.”

McLoud spends two to three hours a day in the gym, five days a week
making sure her muscles stay stimulated. As she continues to gain strength, she wants to dispel some of the myths about stem cell treatment, which she said has a stigma attached because of
misconceptions. For instance, her stem cell procedure uses adult stem cells and her own blood marrow.

Now McLoud serves as an inspiration for someone like Brandy Moss who hopes to one day walk again.

Since this stem cell treatment is not available in the United States, it’s extremely costly: about $30,000.

There is an auction to help raise money for Brandy Moss’s this Saturday, August 6th, at Zack’s Barbeque in Hotchkiss starting at 8am.

You can also make donation at the Delta County Federal Credit Union.

Stem cell therapy for spinal cord injury: Tim Bishop

After suffering a T-6 spinal cord injury, Tim Bishop underwent 2 rounds of clinical protocols at the Stem Cell Institute in Panama City, Panama. Watch him demonstrate the remarkable gains he’s made thus far. He also discusses his transformation from the despair of being bedridden and just “arms and a head” to the hope of one day walking again. Stem cell therapy – “This is reality!”

Stem cell therapy – “This is reality!”

My name is Ernest (Tim) Bishop and I am a T-6 Level Paraplegic, on November 26th 2008, the day before Thanksgiving I was on my way home to help my wife and daughter finish making the pies for Thanksgiving Day and I had a car accident. I came home on February 24, 2009. Since then I have been researching stem cells and all other avenues I can in hopes of regaining the functions of an able bodied person. I found Costa Rica and a lady (Trish) who had already been to Costa Rica. She went to Costa Rica for one month. I went in March 2010. I am hoping to raise enough money to go get more stem cell therapy and bone marrow like Trish did. I have had some significant gains since I have had the stem cell shots. I have gained from my chest right below the breast bone to my pelvic area. I can now feel sensations and have gained muscles in my stomach and back. Before my first set of stem cells I had none of this…I just think of where I might be if I would of been able to stay for a month of treatments. I will know the full benefit of my stem cells up to six months after the treatment and that will be around September 2010. The therapy in other countries is also so much better than in the US. In the US therapy is all about teaching you how to live with the way that you are and about taking notes during what is supposed to be your time. In Costa Rica the therapy was about not settling for less and trying to get you to focus on and do things that you would never think was possible. All of the US doctors have said “you are paralyzed and you will never walk again, that’s just the way it is.” That does not give one hope at all. In Costa Rica I was treated with hope. They encouraged me to try to move my legs, to stand in walker and got me to do it. They got me to do things that I haven’t done since the accident. It felt so great just to stand…While I was there; there were three T-6 complete paraplegics. Two of them were walking with braces and the other one was me. The two that was walking with braces were on their second trip.