Alzheimer’s / Dementia
Alzheimer’s disease is the most common form of senile dementia. It is typically associated with a slow but progressive loss of nerve cells and nerve cell contacts. The onset of the disease is insidious, and the first symptoms to manifest are impaired memory and orientation.
As the disease progresses, the sufferer’s mental faculties deteriorate and, after a few years, patients require help to perform everyday tasks and are no longer able live on their own. One particularly disturbing aspect of this stage of the disease for family and friends is that the patient often doesn’t recognize close relatives or perhaps even their partner. People with Alzheimer’s disease also gradually lose their personality.
It is not known what causes Alzheimer’s disease, although the brains of Alzheimer’s patients do demonstrate typical microscopic changes: Extracellular protein depositions -called amyloid plaques- and fibrous intracellular protein aggregations -called neurofibrillar tangles. It seems impossible to cure Alzheimer’s disease because dead nerve cells cannot be regenerated.
The Cells4health Stem Cell Treatment
The Cells4health Alzheimer’s stem cell treatment differs from standard methods because, in contrast to temporarily masking symptoms with drugs, it is a drug-free alternative focused on affecting physical changes in the brain that can improve a patient’s quality of life.
Patients are treated by injecting the stem cells into the bloodstream intravenously. Mannitol is administered to open the blood-brain barrier which allows the stem cells to reach the central nervous system.
IV-Mannitol is an outpatient procedure that requires patients to stay 4 or 5 nights.
Diagnostics, Physical and Cognitive Assessment
Before stem cell implantation, each patient undergoes blood tests at the clinic and a comprehensive physical and cognitive assessment. Baseline scores are calculated for Bernsden Standard Basic Functions, Barthel Index, Fruhreha Index and Modified Asworth Scale.
Alzheimer’s patients may also undergo magnetic resonance imaging (MRI).
Step 1 – Bone Marrow Collection
Bone marrow is collected from the patient’s iliac crest (hip bone) using thin-needle mini-puncture under local anesthesia. Although some pain is felt when the needle is inserted, most patients do not find the bone marrow collection procedure particularly painful. The entire procedure normally takes about 30 minutes.
Once the bone marrow collection is complete, patients may return to their hotel and go about normal activities.
Patients may receive general anesthesia or sedation if they are unable to lie still.
More detailed information on the bone marrow collection procedure is available in the Bone Marrow Informed Consent document (PDF file).
Step 2 – Laboratory Processing
The stem cells are processed from the bone marrow in a state-of-the-art, government approved (cGMP) laboratory. In the lab, both the quantity and quality of the stem cells are measured. These cells have the potential to transform into multiple types of cells and are capable of regenerating or repairing damaged tissue.
Step 3 – Stem Cell Implantation
The stem cells are implanted back into the patient intravenous administration (IV) with Mannitol.
A venous catheter is inserted into a vein in the right or left arm. Then the Mannitol is introduced over a 20 minute period. Mannitol is a safe, well-known drug that is used to open the blood-brain barrier in order to allow the passage of stem cells and other neurotropic factors into the brain and spinal canal. Next, the stem cells are slowly introduced into the catheter to allow them to thoroughly mix with the blood as they enter the body. No anesthesia is required for this procedure. However, anesthesia can be administered if necessary.
More detailed information on the IV-Mannitol procedure is available in the IV-Mannitol Informed Consent Document (PDF File).
A lumbar puncture is a puncture of the spinal canal using a fine needle, beveled at the front, in the lumbar region (lowest vertebrae of the back) of the spinal column for extracting spinal fluid (nerve or cerebral fluid). Lumbar punctures are primarily performed to diagnose for instance inflammatory disorders of the nervous system such as meningitis or multiple sclerosis. The extracted fluid, which is usually clear like water, in such cases is then examined in various ways in the laboratory.
During the LP for the stem cell therapy a volume of spinal fluid is extracted that is equivalent to the volume of your own stem cells intended for transplantation, so as little pressure difference as possible occurs in your spinal fluid space.
Changes in the pressure of the spinal fluid can cause headache. This pain is not dangerous and rarely lasts longer than 1 – 2 days, but the pain can be uncomfortable especially when getting up from a horizontal position due to the changing pressure ratios.
More detailed information on the LP procedure is available in the LP Informed Consent Document (PDF File).
Patients treated by IV-Mannitol or lumbar puncture may return home the day after IV treatment.
In Patients’ Own Words
Giulia Serafini – 78 years old
“A picture is worth a thousand words”
Josephine Stramiello – 82 years old
“…It has given me more time with my family”
Treatment Evaluation Process
In order to be evaluated for stem cell treatment, patients must complete an online medical history form. Once you’ve completed the online medical history and submitted it, a patient relations consultant will contact you. He or she will assist you with the rest of the evaluation process. Upon treatment approval, your consultant will also assist you with treatment scheduling and trip preparation.