Stem Cell Treatments for Cerebral Palsy – Mary Washington’s Story

Sarah Washington and her daughter Mary. Mary is 2 years old and was diagnosed with cerebral palsy when she was 4 months old. She was first treated at the Stem Cell Institute in Panama using human umbilical cord-derived stem cells. Mary received these stem cells intravenously over the course of 4 days. Her first treatment was in September of 2012. This interview was recorded in March 2013 at the clinic while she was there for a second round of treatments.

What kind of improvements have you noticed?

Overall, in general, what we noticed was, her upper body, she’s very stiff. She’s spastic in her legs and her arms and she has low tone in her trunk. In her upper body, we noticed a pretty significant improvement. Her range of motion, she couldn’t lift her arms over her before and now she can do that on both sides easily. And her hands, she was in tight little fists most of the time, whereas now if she is in a fist it’s very loose. But most of the time she kind of has her hands relaxed. That was a big improvement for us; small but significant for our family.

Her vision has improved, not necessarily distance but as far as like what I think as seeing details. So she would be able to tell the difference between you and me if we didn’t say anything. Whereas before, I don’t think she could do that. She would rely on smell and hearing more than her vision. Now she uses her vision a lot more. So that’s been an improvement that we’ve seen.
She is more involved in the world around her. [She] wants to be more involved in the world around her so that’s good. She has definitely, she doesn’t say, “mama, dada, ba, ba” yet but she definitely is making more vocalizations, making more sounds and trying to experiment with her voice, which is a positive thing.

She is trying different ways of communicating versus just screaming which is what she did before because that is all she knew how to do. And now, she is kind of fussing or sometimes she’ll just kind of like, yell and stop and wait for me to answer her instead of just going from “zero” to “scream”. So her communication has improved as well.

One thing that we were not expecting that we were pleased about is an improvement in her seizures. That wasn’t even something that we had even, I don’t know. I guess it just didn’t occur to us that maybe this would be helpful with that but before we came the first time in September she had been sick and we actually had to delay our trip twice because she had bronchialitis. She was just having a really hard time. And she was having a lot of seizures. We had to add a new seizure medicine to try to get them under control and she was having 6 or 7 short myotonic jerks every day. The first time we were here, by about Thursday, which was like day three of treatment, of stem cells we noticed that she hadn’t had a seizure that day. Whereas before, she was having 6 or 7 a day. And so, that was one thing. It was surprising but it was a nice surprise that those have improved since we’ve been here. She will still have breakthrough seizures every now and then when she’s sick, teething but she, we haven’t gone back to that, where she was having them on a regular basis. So that’s good. That’s been a good improvement.

Since we’ve been here this time, I haven’t really seen anything where I could say, “Oh, I think that’s the stem cells.” yet but I do know that last time it did take a couple of weeks for us to notice, you know, or to really pinpoint and say, “Yes, we think that is the stem cells. There’s no way she could have done that before.” So, and all of our therapists agree that her range of motion and her upper body for sure, and her vision would not have been the way they were without coming here.

Stem Cell Therapy for Heart Disease – Jim Parker Attorney at Law and former Texas State Legislature Member

Stem Cell Therapy Heart Patient Jim ParkerJim Parker, Attorney at Law is a former Texas State Legislature member who was treated with umbilical-cord derived stem cells for heart disease at the Stem Cell Institute in Panama in March 2011.

Jim was kind enough to answer some questions about his condition before and after treatment. He also discusses his trip to Panama, the clinic and its staff.

What is your diagnosis and when were you diagnosed?

Exactly what my diagnosis was I cannot say in medical terms. Factually speaking, I had five (5) by-passes in 1995 (or thereabouts) and then had nine (9) stents added over the next 13 or 14 years. I began to experience severe angina in January and February of 2011 and was hospitalized in February with a series of heart attacks. I had consulted my cardiologist in Abilene and had also gone to a cardiologist in Dallas who was supposed to be really good. They both told me that there was simply nothing else I could do. When I was released from the local hospital in early March of 2011, my family doctor gave me a bottle of morphine and a bottle of nitroglycerine and basically told me to make it as well as I could for as long as I could.

Panama did not exactly change my life. It literally gave my life back to me.

We had heard about the Panama operation (Stem Cell Institute) from local people who had gone for various reasons. Every one of them seemed well-pleased with the results they were able to get. After release from the local hospital in early March of 2011, I sent my medical records to Panama and arranged an appointment in mid-March. I traveled to Panama in a wheel chair because I was not able to walk in the airport.
Upon arrival in Panama the first day was spent drawing my blood for blood tests. The next 7 days the (umbilical cord-derived) stem cells were infused back into my body.

I found the staff to be very helpful and apparently knowledgeable. Our needs outside the clinic were well taken care of and we were very satisfied with our experience.

I steadily improved after Panama to the point where I have now resumed a normal life (at as normal as a 68 year-old guy can expect) and I am back at work. I have not had to use a nitroglycerine pill in over a year and, so far as I can tell, I have no immediate heart problems and but for the damage suffered from my earlier episodes, my heart would be in good shape. My longtime cardiologist will still see me but he believes Panama was some sort of voodoo and I have just been lucky. I continue to take a mild blood pressure medication and I do still take blood thinner. However, about 6 months after Panama my blood pressure got so low they had to cut down the strength of the medication.

What symptoms did you have before you cam for treatment?

Prior to Panama I had a series of heart attacks over a number of years and was eating nitroglycerine tablets like M&Ms.

Which treatments did you try in the U.S. first, and when did you know that you needed to find help outside of the country?

I tried every treatment available in the US of A. Had every test know to man. I mean 5 by-passes and 9 stents many not be a record but it has to be well beyond average.

Why did you choose The Stem Cell Institute in Panama for stem cell treatment?

I chose the Stem Cell Institute in Panama because several local folks had gone there and they were pleased with the results. And, I really had no place to go but the cemetery.

How were the doctors at the clinic? How were the facilities?

The only doctor I recall seeing was Dr. Paz. The facilities were at least on par with what you would find in the US and the staff was more solicitous and helpful than you would find in the US.

How are your symptoms now? How have they improved?

I have no symptoms now. (Knock on wood). I have some breathing issues but I am told that is COPD and it is not really all that bad. I could live another 100 years feeling as good as I do now.

Have you reduced or eliminated any of the medications you were taking before stem cell therapy?

I have cut way back on medication I was using prior to Panama and feel I could probably cut back some more; however, I have to give the local MD’s something to work on. And, by the way, I go to the doctor as little as possible now. Maybe twice a year at most.

How soon did you start seeing/noticing a difference? How was your overall experience?

I began to notice a difference (maybe it was just anticipation) about 6 to 8 weeks after returning from Panama. It has gotten better and better since then. Since I can move around, I have lost over 40 pounds and now am at 6 feet tall and 215 pounds, down from over 250 pounds.

How has this changed your life?

Panama did not exactly change my life. It literally gave my life back to me. I have been married to the same woman for over 50 years and we were able to become intimate again. I am out and about every day and pretty much do what I want to do and go where I want to go.

Additional Comments

Many people should know about this option. There are people dying here in the land of the free and the home of the brave each day that are in better shape than I was when I went to Panama.

And, by the way, I am not subject to flights of fancy and accepting things a thinking person might not accept. I hold a doctor of jurisprudence degree and have been a criminal defense attorney all my adult life. I am about as cynical and skeptical as you will find but I am a believer in your process.

Thank you,

Jim Parker

Jorge Paz MD: Adult Stem Cell Therapy for Arthritis, Sports Injury, and Autoimmune Disease || 3 of 3

Stem cell therapy for osteoarthritis using adipose (fat) stem cell. Case study of 76 year-old man with osteoarthritis in his knees. Stromal vasular fraction treatment statistics including side effects collected over 800 infusions. Stem cell treatments for sports injuries and why pro sports stars are seeking treatment. Case study of a professional dancer with knee and neck problems who returned to competition after stem cell treatment in Panama.

Stem cells secrete factors that promote muscle growth after exercise

Stem cells that aid in healing disease and injury in skeletal muscle have been found inside muscles in greater numbers after exercise, according to a new animal study at the University of Illinois.

Just one exercise session increases the number of muscle-derived mesenchymal stem cells (mMSCs) in mice, according to Beckman Institute researcher Marni Boppart. Dr. Bopart is an assistant professor of kinesiology and community health at the University of Illinois.

mMSCs can differentiate (change) into many different cell types and are found throughout the body. For the first time, this study also showed that they also facilitate tissue healing indirectly.

Bopart said, “What we’ve been able to show in this paper and our current work is that mMSCs are not directly contributing to muscle growth, but do in fact secrete a variety of different factors that positively impact muscle growth.”

Bopart believes that these secreted factors, which specifically respond to mechanical strain are an important step toward treatments that can prevent muscle loss that occurs with aging.

This work was reported in the journal PlosOne.

2012-01-20T18:50:22+00:00January 20th, 2012|Adult Stem Cells, Muscular Dystrophy, News, Stem Cell Research|

Stem Cell Therapy for Multiple Sclerosis: Progress Update from Sam Harrell

From Sam Harrell’s blog: Sam In Panama


2012 Update

Coach Sam Harrell

Well, I realize there may not be many readers of my Panama blog any longer, but just in case someone does return, I wanted to post an important update.

In March 2011 when I returned from my second trip to Panama (my last blog), I soon had a MS relapse. It was the biggest setback I had experienced since my diagnosis. I spent a week in the hospital in Dallas and had numbness from my toes to my chest. When I got home, I was better – the steroids had made the numbness go down to just my lower legs, but I was practically home bound – used a walker or cane most of the time and spent most hours sitting in a chair at home – feeling like this was going to be my lifestyle for the rest of my days!

Even after going to physical therapy and doing everything I was supposed to be doing, my progress was minimal. I was fitted with a brace for my left leg to help the foot drop that was causing me to stumble. My mobility was very limited and I needed help getting most anywhere. I could not hold my new grandson unless I was sitting down, and I couldn’t walk across the room without thinking about each move.

In September of 2011 I went back to Panama for a short visit to get what Dr. Paz called a “little booster.” My mom went with me for this third trip – we stayed in the hotel by the MultiPlaza mall and had a good time since it was mom’s first trip to Panama. But the best news was what happened once we returned.

I had begun a daily log of my condition weeks before I went to Panama – mainly measuring and logging my walking and mobility – here are the exact numbers leading up to my trip and once I got back – these numbers are coming straight from my calendar log – (on a scale of 1 – 10 – how well am I’m getting around):
5,4,5,4,5,5,5,5,5+,5,(panama), 5,5+,5+,6,6,6,
7,8,6,7,7,8,7,8,8,6,6,6,7,8,7,7,8,8,8,8,8,8,7,7,7,7,8,8,8,7(end of Oct)
7+,8+8,7+,7+,7,7+,7+,8,8,7+,8,8,7+,7,7+,7,7,7+8,8+,7+,7+,8,7+,7+,7+,7,7+,7 (Dec)

I know these numbers don’t mean a great deal to you, but they are huge to me – the difference in getting around at about a 5 compared to 7 & 8 is really big – numbers don’t do it justice. My mobility is MUCH improved – I don’t need the brace any longer, I walk like a normal person until I get tired, I can stay on my feet longer, I can jump rope again, I can stand and walk with my grandson in my arms, I don’t have to think to walk from one place to another, and even Kathy sees a huge difference (she has been a little hesitant about the good of stem cells).

So I am very excited and encouraged about my improvements. I can live a fairly normal life right now. And I don’t know if it’s the stem cells that made the difference or simply God’s grace and favor, but I do know it all happened right around the 3rd trip to Panama, so the stem cells had something to do with it. As I have said numerous times before, maybe God is using the stem cells to help me just as He used the Jordan River to heal Naaman’s leprosy after he dipped in it seven times.

But I do want to say this – all of these news shows (60 Minutes, 20/20, etc) coming from the US, that keep saying there are no benefits to stem cell treatments, are only showing you what the FDA and US drug companies want them to say. They have not talked to me, or Richard Humphries, or Preston Walker or many others who have seen dramatic results – we are not healed, but our quality of life is greatly improved and many people are witnessing it. (Now that I am better and getting out, people in town constantly say, “I can’t believe how well you look and how good you are doing.”)

Don’t listen to those media shows and don’t just listen to me – come see the difference!

Thanks again to all who have helped and have been encouraging in my quest to overcome this disabling disease. I encourage all of you to take your health issues into your own hands – be pro-active. What do you have to lose? Many of you may be thinking just like I was – if I do nothing, I know where I will be in 3 years.

One last bit of information – the clinic in Panama is having good but maybe mixed results with MS treatments, but they are whipping, yes whipping, arthritis! If you have a friend or loved one who is dealing with arthritis and the doctors here have said, “your only hope of being mobile again is knee replacements and/or hip replacements”, then you owe it to your friend or yourself to call me or get in touch with the stem cell clinic. What do yo have to lose? There are no side effects or dangers to stem cell treatments. Do it today!

Stay Strong!
Sam Harrell

972 268-3894 (website)

2012-01-19T18:52:10+00:00January 19th, 2012|Multiple Sclerosis, News, Stem Cell Therapy|

The Key to Better Health May Lie in Adult Stem Cells

One of the oldest people in the world, Sarah Knauss (119 years old), might have had more than just “good genes.” “Adult stem cells – known for their healing and regenerative properties – might hold the key to a long and healthy life,” says Wayne Marasco, MD, PhD, of Dana-Farber at the recent International Vatican Conference on Adult Stem Cells in Vatican City, Italy.

“We have learned in the past 10 years that there are all kinds of stem cells that circulate in the blood – they aren’t just found in bone marrow,” said Marasco, of Dana-Farber’s Department of Cancer Immunology and AIDS. “There are dozens of studies that support the fact that this is a large and dynamic population of cells that might help us keep our bodies healthy for a longer period of time.”

Stem cells are assigned to specialized zones in the body and called into action when the body faces stress or even a minor injury. For example, when someone has a heart attack or stroke, an agent is released into the blood, recruiting stem cells and directing them to the damaged tissue.

In addition to their healing powers, stem cell levels are also an indicator of future health. Studies have shown that a person’s level of endothelial progenitor cells, stem cells that form the tissues that line blood vessels, can predict whether or not a patient who has a heart attack will die or need major hospitalization.

Since stem cell levels can be modified through diet, lifestyle changes, or drugs, monitoring stem cells could prevent certain health risks and delay disease from occurring.

“The bottom line is that stem cells may be a better indicator of health and aging than the regular annual blood test, which was developed 50 years ago,” Marasco says. “Now that we know more about adult stem cells, this should be part of a routine test.”

Stem cell therapy may not be too far off in the future. Marasco says that doctors will soon be able to check stem cell levels in a drop of blood, using a finger-prick test much like those used by diabetics. Studies are also beginning to show the benefits of an FDA-approved molecule that improves the healing powers of stem cells, and the NIH has launched a new program that may lead to discoveries of already approved drugs that can boost adult stem cells.

“We can age gracefully, but we can also keep the body revitalized,” Marasco said. “The whole purpose of monitoring is to replenish our stem cells so that we can get more healthy years out of them.”

2012-01-10T19:03:50+00:00January 10th, 2012|Adult Stem Cells, News, Stem Cell Research|

Twins’ family coping with cerebral palsy

ASHLAND — Three-year-old twins with cerebral palsy are making life adventurous, challenging and bittersweet for the Hancock family.

“They’re happy kids but it definitely makes it more difficult because as a parent you want them to have every opportunity that every other child has,” said mother Carrie Hancock. “It’s hard, but we’re handling it the best we can.”

Because they were born 10 weeks premature, both children suffered developmental delays.

By the time Tessa and Dylan were 20 months old, Tessa had been diagnosed with cerebral palsy, a permanent disorder that affects movement and posture. At that time, parents Carrie and Jeremy were getting ready to take their daughter overseas for a stem cell transplant, a procedure that would allow Tessa to live a better, less physically restricted life.

In the midst of their planning, the family was soon faced with another obstacle. That January, Dylan also was diagnosed with cerebral palsy.

“What do you do? They’re your babies. You just go with it and do what you think is best,” Carrie said. “Before, we were always told that he just had developmental delays, but as much as you hated to hear it, it was almost a blessing because we were paying out of pocket for him because he hadn’t been officially diagnosed.

“That’s the silver lining I guess and now we’re able to get him the help he needs.”

The Ashland family ended up taking Tessa to Panama City, Panama, where she had her first round of stem cell treatments in 2009.

“She did really well and had a lot of improvement with her vision,” Carrie said. “Her tone in her hand had decreased and she wasn’t fisting all the time. When we went back in July, we took both the kids.”

The results were remarkable.

“As soon as we took him, he was like a whole other kid,” Carrie said of Dylan. “He was babbling and it helped him in so many different ways. He also just walked independently a couple months ago. For Tessa, it made her stronger. She was already smart and attentive.”

Today the twins attend therapy sessions at MedCentral Pediatric Therapy one day a week and preschool at Tri-County Preschool four days a week. They receive occupational, speech and physical therapy.

“A typical day for us includes them going to school a little after 8 and they’re picked up a little after 11,” Carrie said. “After we get them home and fed, Tessa goes down for a nap and then Dylan stays awake and I get alone time with him, which is nice. We work on walking and sitting up with them, but try to incorporate it into their play. We try to make it a fun time.”

The family takes the twins on outings by stroller and enjoy their play time together, but each day can be daunting.

“The biggest difference is the physical challenge of dressing and feeding. Tessa is in the process of being potty trained, but Dylan doesn’t want to yet,” Carrie said. “She can’t feed herself and we’re still changing diapers at age 3.

“Dylan’s not walking. If you ask him to pick up something, he doesn’t understand. It’s challenging.”

Recently, Dan and Stephanie Kreisher, of Ontario, held their third fundraiser for the family. Jeremy was on Dan’s 1994 state championship baseball team at Ontario High School.

The Kreishers and friends raised $1,400 for the Hancocks, along with providing them two iPads for Tessa and Dylan after learning the electronics would help their communication skills. The iPads were sponsored by Elite Excavating and Zara Construction.

“We have so much and are so fortunate that we wanted to help others,” Dan said. “Jeremy and Carrie are such positive people. They’re the happiest parents, just very admirable people.”

The feeling was mutual.

“I can’t say enough about Dan and Stephanie. The iPads are huge for us. We’re in the process of getting different communication devices to help with fine motor skills,” Carrie said. “They use them in school and it’s nice to be able to incorporate what they’re learning at home. Life isn’t easy, but we are very blessed.

“The best way to describe our family is that we’re taking the scenic route. We’re taking the back roads. We’ll get them there, but it just might take a little longer.”

2011-10-21T19:12:43+00:00October 21st, 2011|Cerebral Palsy, News, Stem Cell Therapy|

Stem cell therapy gives dogs new pep in their step

Linda Goldston, Mercury News
Cookie is a thirteen year-old Australian shepherd mix that has been having increasing trouble lying down and getting up. She could not walk down stairs and even during normal walks around the park her legs would give out. Cookie’s master, Ed Tani of Hayward was terrified that Cookie’s days were numbered. Ed then came across a revolutionary procedure for treating arthritic dogs called stem cell therapy. The treatment had been used with great success in horses for years, but more and more veterinarians are implementing the patented Vet-Stem Regenerative Cell therapy to their medical bag of tricks.
“This is an attempt to turn back time but without drugs,” said Brian Maxwell, a veterinarian whose specialty is orthopedic surgery at Adobe Animal Hospital in Los Altos, where Cookie’s joints were injected with her own stem cells this week.
The procedure of using stem cells to treat arthritis is based on the fact that stem cells have the ability to inhibit inflammation associated with arthritis, as well as to regenerate the injured cartilage. Vet-Stem uses stem cells derived from the fat tissue. Fat tissue contains stem cells that are called “mesenchymal” which are known to produce bone, cartilage, and other types of tissues. Additionally, mesenchymal stem cells also produce anti-inflammatory compounds such as interleukin-10.
Maxwell stated that “about 70 percent of the dogs treated show dramatic improvement; another 20 percent show moderate improvement”. Maxwell stated that of the 10 dogs that were treated so far, all but one of them improved. The dogs’ mobility was better and most of them were able to go off pain pills and anti-inflammatory medication, which can cause kidney and liver problems in many dogs.
“When she was 4 years old, she tore her ACL and had to have surgery,” said Wyle, a lecturer in Stanford University’s program in writing and rhetoric. “I thought, at that point, it was time to do it.”
The treatment of autologous fat stem cells have been performed by Vet-Stem since 2003. There have been numerous studies published by Vet-Stem regarding the treatment of dogs and horses using fat stem cells. For example in Black et al. Vet Ther. 2008 Fall;9(3):192-200, Dr. Harman’s group reported that “effectiveness of this therapy in dogs with chronic osteoarthritis of the humeroradial (elbow) joints and to determine the duration of effect. Fourteen dogs were recruited. Veterinarians assessed each dog for lameness, pain on manipulation, range of motion, and functional disability using a numeric rating scale at baseline and specified intervals up to 180 days after treatment. Statistically significant improvement in outcome measures was demonstrated.”

2011-05-27T19:19:00+00:00May 27th, 2011|Adult Stem Cells, Arthritis, News, Stem Cell Research|

Bone Marrow Stem Cells Successful For Liver Failure Caused by Hepatitis B

Peng et al. Hepatology.
The liver is the most regenerative solid organ in the body. One can resect 2/3 of the liver and it will still regenerate back to normal size. There have been several experimental studies in animals where induction of liver injury is treated by administration of bone marrow stem cells. A video describing this may be seen at this link Previous use of bone marrow cells in patients with liver failure has been described in a Japanese publication that is presented in this video
A recent study Peng et al. Autologous bone mesenchymal stem cell transplantation in liver failure patients caused by hepatitis B: Short-term and long-term outcomes. Hepatology. 2011 May 23 from the 3rd Affiliated Hospital of Sun Yat-sen University, in GuangZhou, China reported outcomes of 53 patients with hepatitis B induced liver failure treated with 120 ml of their own bone marrow stem cells infused via the hepatic artery. These patients were compared to 105 control patients that were matched for age, gender, and liver enzymes. Additionally, the functional index of liver failure, the Model for End-Stage Liver Disease (MELD) score, was matched between the treated and control groups.
Bone marrow stem cells were isolated without complications. The cells were administered as a slow infusion into the hepatic artery. Given that hepatitis is associated with an increase in hepatic cancer, one of the concerns of bone marrow stem cell administration into this patient population is the theoretical possibility of accelerating tumor formation. This appeared not to be the case. Specificallyt, follow-up at 192 weeks post treatment revealed no differences in incidence of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) or mortality between the two groups. Additionally, there were no significant differences in the incidence of HCC or mortality between patients with and without cirrhosis in the transplantation group. In terms of efficacy, it appeared that 2 to 3 weeks after administration of bone marrow stem cells, the levels of ALB, TBIL, PT and the MELD score of patients who received stem cells were significantly improved as compared to control patients. Improvements where maintained in the majority of patients.
These data support the possibility of using autologous stem cells in the treatment of liver failure. One possible new and less invasive method would be to mobilize the existing stem cells of the patient by administering drugs such as G-CSF (Neupogen) that trigger entry of bone marrow stem cells into circulation. The therapeutic activity of stem cell mobilization was demonstrated by Zhang et al. Granulocyte colony-stimulating factor treatment ameliorates liver injury and improves survival in rats with d-galactosamine-induced acute liver failure. Toxicol Lett. 2011 Apr 27 who demonstrated that 5 day administration of G-CSF had therapeutic effects in the d-galactosamine-stimulated liver failure model.

2011-05-23T19:25:22+00:00May 23rd, 2011|Liver, News, Stem Cell Research|

France’s first ‘saviour baby’ is born in Paris

Antoine Mariotti , France 24 International

A ‘saviour baby’ is a relatively new term that has come in to practice with modern medical revelations allowing for genetic selection at the embryonic stage of development. The first savior baby in France was born in Paris on February 8, 2011. The boy, named Umut Talha, meaning “our hope” in Turkish was born to Turkish parents and has two siblings who suffer from a genetic blood disease called Beta thalassemia. Beta Thalassemia reduces the production of hemoglobin, the iron-containing protein in red blood cells that carries oxygen to cells throughout the body. People who suffer from this disease are generally anemic and have an increased risk of developing blood clots. Blood transfusions are required to frequently replenish the red blood cell supply, and is the treatment currently being delivered to Umut’s older sister.

With Umut’s birth, the need for these frequent blood transfusions will be eliminated. Umut’s parents’ began the process of having a saviour baby a little more than a year ago. The process involved screening embryos for the disease, and then genetically selecting an embryo free of the disease. Umut was indeed born disease free and the stem cells from his umbilical cord will be used to cure his sister of her disease. The process will be repeated soon to cure Umut’s four year old brother as well.

2011-02-08T20:35:26+00:00February 8th, 2011|News, Stem Cell Therapy|