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Stem Cell Therapy for Alzheimers

Stem Cell Therapy for Alzheimer’s Disease

 

Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is characterized by progressive loss of cognitive functioning. There are currently 36 million people afflicted by this condition worldwide, and that number is expected to triple by the year 2050. Treatment of AD poses many challenges, as it is degenerative and not curable. Stem cell therapy has shown some promise in treating AD, and many recent studies support the use of stem cells as a viable option for Alzheimer’s disease.

Stem Cells for Alzheimers

Stem cells have been used successfully to counteract the symptoms of AD. Multipotent stem cells can differentiate into many cell types, such as oligodendrocytes, astrocytes, and neurons. These cells are derived from umbilical cord tissue and blood, amniotic fluid, bone marrow, and adipose (fat) tissue. With cell technology, stem cells can generate differentiate into types of glial and neuronal cells that are needed in AD treatment.

 

How Stem Cells Work

 

In mouse subjects with AD, studies show that transplanted stem cells change into mature cell types that improve memory and learning. One clinical study showed improvements of cholinergic neuron numbers, as well as memory in such AD rats after being transplanted with stem cells. It is thought that differentiation, maturation, and integration of the stem cells lead to secreted factors that signal molecules to stimulate cholinergic neurogenesis, and possible, prevent further loss. It has been shown that stem cell grafts increase brain-derived neurotrophic factor levels, and also, lead to behavioral rescue in mouse models of AD.

 

Grafted stem cells also are thought to work by altering the microenvironment in animal subjects’ brains. This process may have a negative impact on the therapeutic effect of stem cell transplantation. Nerve growth factors could promote survival of the cells, and stem cells transduced with human nerve growth factor genes can integrate into the cerebral cortex of AD rats to enhance cognitive performance. Transplantation of stem cells is used to deliver potent therapeutic agents, as well. These include insulin-degrading enzyme, neprilysin, plasmin, and cathepsin B.

 

Stem Cell therapy for AlzheimersNeural stem cells express high levels of neurotrophins, such as NGF and BDNF. Stem cells deliver neurotropins to the diseased brain, possibly modulating endogenous synaptic plasticity and enhancing survival of neurons. Many clinical studies support this notion, and stem cell transplantation has also been seen to increase hippocampal synaptic density and improve learning and memory in many transgenic models. The enhancement of synaptic growth was found to reduce neuronal loss and elevate levels of glial-derived neurotrophic factor within the brain.

 

Chronic inflammation is thought to play an important role in AD. Certain stem cell populations can exhibit robust anti-inflammatory properties. Stem cells have been found to induce expression of certain anti-inflammatory factors, such as prostaglandin E2 and interleukin-10. Peripheral administration of human umbilical cord blood stem cells was shown to reduce AD pathology by a mechanism that involves modulation of CD40 signaling. There is growing evidence that stem cells will also modulate the immune system. Because AD is an inflammation-associate condition, stem cells may reduce migrogliosis and expression of proinflammatory cytokine tumor necrosis factor. A few clinical studies suggest that mesenchymal stem cells can positively influence inflammation in AD models.

 

Clinical Studies

 

In a research study, embryonic stem cells were evaluated, a murine brain injury received a transplantation. The cells were capable of maturing into cholinergic and GABAergic neuronal subtypes and synaptically integrated with host neuronal circuits. This lead to improvements in impaired spatial memory and learning. Stem cells were also found to work in a rodent model study to decrease neuroinflammation, reverse cognitive deficits, and attenuate certain neuropathology. Intravenously, stem cells are capable of crossing the blood-brain barrier, and they can migrate to regions of neural injury. This has been done successfully in several studies.

 

Researchers recently used umbilical cord blood stem cells in an open-label phase I clinical trial. Nine patients with AD were given treatment. At three months, no patient had any serious adverse event from surgical transplantation of stem cells. Umbilical cord stem cells were also used to express high levels of angiogenic growth factors, which shown migratory activity. Overall, stem cell therapy for AD has enormous promise but more research is needed. MSC-based therapies have been best for human clinical trials.

 

Bone marrow stem cells have been found in one study to increase in number of positive cells for choline acetyltransferase. In addition, these cells removed AB plaques from the hippocampus and reduced substance deposits in AD mouse models. Human stem cells were found to enhance autophagy, promote AB clearance, and increase neuronal survival in another study. Intravenously injected stem cells were found in the brain for up to 12 days following the injection in animal models, and one report suggested that adipose-derived MSCs improve ACH levels, cognitive function, and locomotor ability in aged mice. The beneficial effects of stem cells were also associated with activation of M2-like microglia.

 

R3 Stem Cell offers regenerative therapy for Alzheimer’s disease at several of its 34 Centers nationwide. Call (844) GET-STEM today for a complimentary consultation to see if you are a candidate!

 

Resources

Chen WW & Blurton-Jones M (2012). Concise Review: Can Stem Cells be used to Treat or Model Alzheimer Disease? Stem Cells, 30(12), 2612-2618.

Chen J., Tang Y.X., Liu Y.M., Hu X.Q., Liu N., Wang S.X., Zhang Y., Zeng W.G., Ni H.J., Zhao B., et al. Transplantation of adipose-derived stem cells is associated with neural differentiation and functional improvement in a rat model of intracerebral hemorrhage. CNS Neurosci. Ther. 2012;18:847–854. doi: 10.1111/j.1755-5949.2012.00382.x.

Darlington D., Deng J., Giunta B., Hou H., Sanberg C.D., Kuzmin-Nichols N., Zhou H.D., Mori T., Ehrhart J., Sanberg P.R., Tan J. Multiple low-dose infusions of human umbilical cord blood cells improve cognitive impairments and reduce amyloid-β-associated neuropathology in Alzheimer mice. Stem Cells Dev. 2013;22:412–421. doi: 10.1089/scd.2012.0345.

Duncan T & Valenzuela M (2017). Alzheimer’s disease, dementia, and stem cell therapy. Stem Cell Res Ther, 8, 111.

Ha S., Ahn S., Kim S., Joo Y., Chong Y.H., Suh Y.H., Chang K.A. In vivo imaging of human adipose-derived stem cells in Alzheimer’s disease animal model. J. Biomed. Opt 2014;19:051206.

Honmou O., Houkin K., Matsunaga T., Niitsu Y., Ishiai S., Onodera R., Waxman S.G., Kocsis J.D. Intravenous administration of auto serum-expanded autologous mesenchymal stem cells in stroke. Brain. 2011;134:1790–1807.

Lee J.K., Jin H.K., Bae J.S. Bone marrow-derived mesenchymal stem cells reduce brain amyloid-β deposition and accelerate the activation of microglia in an acutely induced Alzheimer’s disease mouse model. Neurosci. Lett. 2009;450:136–141. doi: 10.1016/j.neulet.2008.11.059.

Salem A.M., Ahmed H.H., Atta H.M., Ghazy M.A., Aglan H.A. Potential of bone marrow mesenchymal stem cells in management of Alzheimer’s disease in female rats. Cell Biol. Int. 2014 doi: 10.1002/cbin.10331.

Shin J.Y., Park H.J., Kim H.N., Oh S.H., Bae J.S., Ha H.J., Lee P.H. Mesenchymal stem cells enhance autophagy and increase β-amyloid clearance in Alzheimer disease models. Autophagy. 2014;10:32–44.

Tong LM, Fong H, & Huang Y (2015). Stem cell therapy for Alzheimer’s disease and related disorders: current status and future perspectives. Experimental & Molecular Med, 47, 151.

Yang H., Xie Z., Wei L., Yang S., Zhu Z., Wang P., Zhao C., Bi J. Human umbilical cord mesenchymal stem cell-derived neuron-like cells rescue memory deficits and reduce amyloid-β deposition in an AβPP/PS1 transgenic mouse model. Stem Cell Res. Ther. 2013;4:76. doi: 10.1186/scrt227

Read This Before Considering Bone Marrow Stem Cell Therapy

There are ISSUES with Bone Marrow Stem Cell Procedures

It’s important before undergoing a bone marrow stem cell therapy procedure that you truly understand a few facts. First of all, it should be obvious that the procedure involves you being the donor of the bone marrow. The provider will harvest the bone marrow from your pelvis. While the risk of infection is small and there is no risk of rejection, those are not advantages compared with other types of stem cell treatment. For instance, amniotic and umbilical cord tissue don’t cause rejection either, and the risk of infection is minimal.

Bone Marrow Procedures OFTEN Cause Chronic Pain

 

The first consideration with this is that the needle used for the harvest is fairly large and it is going through an extremely sensitive area. The covering of your pelvis has a ton of nerve endings and may hurt significantly with the procedure. In fact, several studies have shown up to a 40% incidence of chronic pain after a bone marrow harvesting. Can you imagine having successful knee pain relief only to trade it for pain in your hip area chronically?

 

The Amount of Stem Cells in Your Bone Marrow is a PROBLEM

 

The biggest concern with using bone marrow for stem cell procedure is simply a matter of numbers. Once a person reaches the age of 50, the amount of stem cells in one’s bone marrow literally drops off a cliff. There is an exponential drop in the number of stem cells and other regenerative cells that are available. At the age of 50, there is a 90% drop in stem cells in one’s bone marrow, and by the age of 70 that drops by 97%!

 

Bone marrow stem cell procedure’s can work very well for those in their 20s and 30s. This would include athletes and those in categories such as post traumatic extremity arthritis. But for those who have degenerative arthritis and are over the age of 50, it is a TERRIBLE idea to consider bone marrow stem cell therapy.

Bone Marrow Stem Cells Get Lazy

 

 

Another interesting fact that has come from research out of Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, is that stem cells from the bone marrow do not work as well with increasing age. So in addition to their being a quantity problem, there is also a quality issue as well. The stem cells that we make get lazy, and there are also not enough of them as we age.

 

The argument that you should have a bone marrow procedure because it is your own tissue is also not valid. Donated tissue from the amniotic fluid, placenta or umbilical cord does not get rejected in the human body. The reason is that during processing, any DNA factors are removed. This leaves the tissue immunologically privileged. In over 10,000 cases to date, our Centers of Excellence have never had a rejection, disease transmission, or a deep infection.

 

The stem cell and regenerative counts in the tissue are exponentially higher than what is seen with bone marrow or adipose. I will cover adipose in a separate article.
With over 30 R3 Stem Cell Centers of Excellence nationwide, R3 is the nation’s leader in regenerative procedures. Not only does this include arthritis and soft tissue conditions, but also neurodegenerative, auto immune, COPD, kidney failure and much more.

 

Simply call us today at (844) GET-STEM so we can set you up with a free consultation at a center close to you.

Read This Before Undergoing Adipose Stem Cell Therapy

Adipose Stem Cell Therapy Has a Critical Flaw

We get asked frequently how good adipose stem cell therapy works. Rather than offering a short answer, I’d like to elaborate on adipose (fat) as a regenerative tissue.
While in the body, adipose tissue has a ton of regenerative cells in it. These cells require considerable amounts of oxygen, which they receive as our fat has an excellent blood supply in the body.

Most Adipose Stem Cells Die After the Procedure

 

This is a critical difference between regenerative cells that come from the products of conception such as the placenta or the umbilical cord. Those tissues do not require a considerable amount of oxygen. When adipose tissue is acquired during a mini-liposuction and processed in the room for a stem cell procedure, a problem occurs. Once those stem cells are placed into the area being treated such as the knee or the hip joint, they receive very little oxygen in their new home. Research has shown that over 85% of those cells subsequently die within just a couple of days.

 

So people think they are getting these super high cell counts, when in reality most of those cells will never be able to live to do any of the necessary repair work. This is why adipose stem cell therapy has been losing popularity in the US for years!

 

What About Stromal Vascular Fraction (SVF)?

 

One of the modifications that centers sometimes offer for adipose stem cell therapy is to add some enzymes to the fat such as collagenase. This is the procedure called stromal vascular fraction. While this additional step does offer benefits, the FDA has come down hard on this procedure. In fact, they recently filed an injunction against over 100 Centers performing this adipose procedure modification. So it is actually not allowed by the FDA in the United States.

 

Even if the procedure were allowed in the US, no data has shown that adipose stem cell procedures (even as SVF) work better than umbilical or amniotic regenerative procedures. Plus there are potential risks from the liposuction procedure itself.

As a result, what we are seeing is that adipose stem cell therapy is rapidly falling out of favor in the United States. Over 99% of the individuals calling into our centers and being seen want to discuss either amniotic or umbilical cord tissue stem cell procedures. These procedures utilize donor tissue that does not cause a rejection in the body, is safe and is strictly regulated by the FDA.

 

R3 Stem Cell has over 30 centers nationwide that have performed over 10,000 successful procedures. And we have not seen any rejection, deep infection, allergic reaction or disease transmission. There are MILLIONS of live regenerative cells in the amniotic and umbilical cord tissue. Download our Consumer Guide HERE.

 

Call today (844) GET-STEM to sign up for a free consultation to see if you or a loved one is a candidate for stem cell therapy!

Stem cell treatment for Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis

What is ALS?

This disease is named after New York Yankee first baseman Lou Gehrig who developed it in 1939. More formally known as Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), is a neurodegenerative disease of an unknown cause that is characterized by degeneration of motor neurons in the brain and spinal cord. It often moves very quickly from weakness in limbs to progressive paralysis and eventually, respiratory failure. It typically occurs in the forties through seventies. is caused by a combination of genetic and environmental factors. It has been very difficult to find effective treatments for ALS.

Numerous trials are underway that testing new approaches that use stem cells for ALS treatment

What are Stem cells?

Stem cells are the body’s own cells from which all other cells with specialized functions are generated. These daughter cells either become new stem cells or differentiate into specialized cells (blood cells, brain cells, heart muscle, etc.) There are several sources of stem cells:

  • Embryonic stem cells: come from 3 – 5 days old embryos. These are pluripotent stem cells and can divide into more stem cells or can become any type of cell in the body, and can be used to regenerate or repair diseased tissue and organs.
  • Adult stem cells: found in most adult tissues, such as bone marrow or fat. They have a more limited ability to differentiate into various cells of the body. Lately, it has been found that adult stem cells may be able to create unrelated types of cells, such as bone marrow stem cells forming heart muscle cells.
  • Perinatal stem cells: are found in amniotic fluid and umbilical cord blood.

 

Stem cell treatment for ALS

There has been a lot of research on using stem cells for the treatments for ALS. Induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) have been used as a source of motor neurons from individual ALS patients to study why and how motor neurons degenerate in ALS. Both upper and lower motor neurons, as well as astrocytes, can be made from iPSCs.

Motor neurons derived from iPSCs can be tracked over time to understand if a test compound has a positive or negative effect. Furthermore, comparing the motor neurons derived from iPSCs can help understand patients’ clinical picture.

More importantly, stem cells can also help in treating the disease. They can be used to produce cells that motor neurons in the brain and spinal cord.

 

Several trials are underway that testing new approaches that use stem cells for ALS treatment. One of these includes using mesenchymal stem cells can be taken from the patient’s own bone marrow or fat tissue and then modified to enhance their support for dying motor neurons. Another trial is focused on studying the effects of injecting muscle tissue into the fluid surrounding the brain and spinal cord. A recent study in JAMA Neurology reported that the treatment was safe and well-tolerated, resulting in a decreased rate of disease progression during six months after the injections, as compared to six months before treatment.

There is still a lack of high-quality evidence to guide the clinical use of stem cell therapies for the treatment of ALS in the clinic, but the results of recent and current trials have been very encouraging.

The Real Problem with Bone Marrow Stem Cell Therapy

There’s a lot written online these days about stem cell therapy using one’s own bone marrow. Some providers will say “you should only have your own bone marrow used, bone marrow is better for regenerative medicine,” etc. This is concerning as it’s mostly NOT a good idea.

When you really look at using one’s own bone marrow, there are TWO GLARING PROBLEMS that should be taken into consideration. The first issue simply comes

Young athletes are great bone marrow stem cell candidates

down to pure math. When a person is in his or her 20s or 30s, the amount of regenerative cells available is plentiful. For instance, when an athlete is considering undergoing a regenerative procedure, bone marrow may be an excellent option. For an individual in his or her 30’s with a post traumatic cartilage defect, it also makes sense to consider bone marrow procedures.

However, once a person reaches the age of 50, undergoing a bone marrow procedure is mathematically NOT a good idea. Studies have shown that the amount of stem cells available in one’s bone marrow drops exponentially as we age.

Specifically, by the age of 50, that amount drops by about 90%. By the age of 70, it drops by over 95%. In addition, researchers at Case Western have shown the stem cells that are still present do not function as well as those when a person is younger. Basically, stem cells in older individuals get LAZY.

Studies in the past have also shown a significant problem with what is obtained even under the best of circumstances with a bone marrow aspiration. With current techniques, the needle is placed into the iliac crest of the pelvis. Approximately 60 mL of bone marrow is aspirated for use.

What exactly is in that bone marrow?

That question has been answered by studies looking at the composition. The first 2 mL contains a decent amount of stem cells. Unfortunately, the rest of the 60 mL mostly consists of blood. This has very few stem cells and not very many regenerative cells either.

So in addition to age becoming a mathematical liability for the amount of cells we have available, the current techniques for aspiration hurt the situation even more.
The combination of the mathematical decay of the amount of stem cells we have available with aging, the decrease in function of what stem cells remain, and the current technical deficiencies with aspiration all add up to a sub-optimal regenerative procedure using one’s own bone marrow.

Complications with the Aspiration

And if that wasn’t enough to discourage people from undergoing a bone marrow procedure, consider the potential complications of the iliac crest aspiration. On average, studies show a 35% incidence of chronic pain from the aspiration. This means a person may have pain that last well over six months afterwards.

In addition, there have been reports of pelvic fractures, vascular injury, nerve injury and even a bowel perforation can occur. Imagine going in for a simple bone marrow stem cell procedure and ending up needing a blood transfusion and a bowel repair!

For the younger population, bone marrow should still be in the conversation. However, we simply have much better options available today for regenerative procedures. Umbilical cord and amniotic stem cell treatments have been shown in many peer reviewed studies to be safe and very effective for many conditions.

In over 10,000 cases performed over five years, R3’s Centers of Excellence have not experienced any disease transmission, deep infection, no rejection, and of course no chronic pain as no aspiration is necessary.

With umbilical cord tissue and amniotic fluid being obtained ethically and in accordance with FDA regulations, why risk any of the complications and poor cell numbers associated with a bone marrow procedure?

R3 Stem Cell offers effective regenerative procedures at over 30 Centers of Excellence nationwide. We also have a Concierge center in Las Vegas, where patients from around the country and internationally come for first-rate treatments.

Initial consultations, whether in person or over the phone, are offered complimentary along with an imaging review. Call us today at (844) GET-STEM and we will locate a provider close to you!

Does Stem Cell Therapy Work with Bone on Bone Arthritis?

One of the main questions we receive from individuals considering regenerative therapy for an arthritic joint is “Will the stem cell therapy work if I have bone on bone arthritis?” Interstingly, the answer is yes!

We didn’t always think it would help. When R3 first started over five years ago, we told providers it probably wouldn’t work. Thankfully, we were wrong! The outcomes proved to be exceptional over 80% of the time.

As the past five years have gone by and patient after patient has gotten dramatically better from the treatment, we have learned what is most likely happening with the joint treatment.

How Arthritis Occurs

 

Throughout life, people make cartilage at the same rate. It doesn’t matter whether a person is twenty or eighty, cartilage formation occurs consistently. The issue concerns the rate of cartilage loss. Unfortunately, with age comes an increased rate of cartilage loss. So the ratio of formation to loss turns into a mismatch.

This leads to an overall loss and degenerative arthritis. What’s being accomplished with a regenerative procedure (e.g. umbilical cord stem cell therapy), is putting the ratio back into the patient’s favor. It is NOT a cure or a complete fix, anyone who says that is not being realistic.

With the ratio being put back into the patient’s favor, cartilage formation can accumulate in a joint. Often times, noticeable joint improvement will occur on x-rays over time. It does not need to be a ton, simply a couple millimeters will usually be enough to create tremendous relief for patients.

How long will the relief last from a regenerative injection?

 

This is variable, and there is no set time frame. We have seen patients treated five years ago doing fantastic, while others may need a repeat treatment after a couple years. A person may not need another stem cell treatment, but may just benefit from a PRP treatment. The relief usually starts within the first month, and continues to improve for over six months.

There is no age limit to the treatment. R3’s Centers have seen patients upwards of age 102. The desire may simply be to walk farther, play more with the grandkids or play golf more often. Thankfully, the treatments are extremely safe in addition to being effective over 80% of the time.

How is Amniotic and Umbilical Cord Tissue Regulated?

 

Amniotic and umbilical cord tissue is strictly FDA regulated. During processing, any DNA factors are removed so it does not lead to rejection. The best labs, such as the ones R3 works with, ensure very high cell viability by not using radiation and only minimal preservative. This is one reason the outcomes at our Centers has been so amazing.

With the outcomes being so exceptional, over 95% of patients considering treatment at R3 now ask for amniotic and umbilical cord tissue treatment. Along with the outcomes, there is no need for harvesting so the potential for chronic donor site pain is avoided. When a bone marrow or adipose procedure is undergone, the potential for chronic donor site pain is over 30%, and with each year that goes by the regenerative cell counts in the human body decreases considerably.

 

R3 Stem Cell has over thirty Centers of Excellence nationwide. All of them offer a free consultation, and the providers are first rate. Call today to set up your visit to R3, where Regenerative Medicine is Made Easy!

Do you have back pain that radiates to your ribs? This might be the cause.

If you’ve been scouting the internet desperately trying to find a cause for your back pain then you are not alone. In fact, it’s estimated that 80% of Americans suffer from back pain at some point in their life and that at any one time around 10% of the US residents have chronic back pain issues. Chronic pain can take a serious toll on everything from your ability to do the gardening to fulfilling your role at work. Inevitably this means that a significant proportion of sufferers develop depression and feel hopeless about their condition. Most of these individuals will suffer with what we call chronic lower back pain ie back pain in the portion of the spine that is below your rib cage. But what if this doesn’t describe your pain at all? What if your pain is in the middle of the back and often radiated across the ribs? Well, you won’t find much about this sort of back pain online and it can be frustrating trying to find a diagnosis. If you are at all in doubt, speak to a specialist spine centre who see hundreds if not thousands of these sorts of patients each and every year as they are bound to be able to quickly identify a cause due to expertise a family practitioner just doesn’t have.

any cause of back pain it is imperative you seek specialist advice from a spinal centre

What could cause mid back pain?

 

There a number of causes of middle back pain including:

 

  • Degenerative disc disease. Whilst this is significantly less common than having slipped or degenerative discs in the lumbar or cervical spine it can occur either symptomatically or asymptomatically.
  • Compression fracture of the thoracic spine. As we grow older we lose bone mass and grow more likely to suffer from osteoporosis. Osteoporosis is a severe form of bone mass loss that can cause wedge or compression fractures of the bones in the spine (where the bones literally buckle under the weight of the head and neck).
  • Problems affecting any of the following organs may cause referred pain (this is why it is important not to self diagnose – a trained doctor will be able to rule out serious disease in these organs):
    • Oesophagus
    • Stomach
    • Liver
    • Gallbladder
    • Pancreas

 

Degenerative disc disease is probably most likely in those with back radiating to the ribs as the bulging disc can cause radiculopathy (this is when the bulging disc compresses a nerve, resulting in pain in the area that nerve supplies eg the rib cage).

 

What can I do to treat this condition?

 

As with any cause of back pain it is imperative you seek specialist advice from a spinal centre with trained spinal doctors. If the pain is caused by degenerative disc disease then treatment will begin conservatively and work up to more serious interventions. This can start with physical therapy, include drugs like non steroidal anti inflammatory or involve surgery in severe cases.

FAQs on Stem Cell Regenerative Therapies in Phoenix and Scottsdale

This is a guest blog post from Dr. Monte Hessler, whose location is an R3 Stem Cell Center of Excellence in Phoenix AZ. Dr. Hessler works with the Phoenix Suns, San Francisco Giants, PGA Tour and many other professional and amateur athletes on the latest medical technologies such as stem cell therapy in Phoenix and Scottsdale AZ.

Regenerative medicine refers to therapies that are able to repair, restore and regenerate damaged tissues in the body. These treatments represent a significant advancement from traditional ones that only offer symptom relief as a proverbial “band-aid”. Regenerative procedures come in two forms. Those that require a biologic harvest from the patient (bone marrow or adipose tissue), or those that come from an external source (e.g. PRP Therapy, amniotic fluid/membrane, and umbilical cord blood/tissue).

There are significant myths and misinformation that have been propagated regarding the external source regenerative biologics. A lot of these myths are disseminated by industry competitors who have presented biased and manipulated data to confuse prospective patients.

Known as the “products of conception”, the regenerative materials from amniotic and umbilical tissue include the following: • Amniotic Fluid • Placental membrane • Umbilical Cord Tissue • Umbilical Cord Blood • Wharton’s Jelly

Research performed on the products of conception have shown several benefits to what the materials contain including: • High numbers of Stem Cells • Concentrations of Growth Factors • High numbers of Cytokines • Additional elements including exosomes, microsomes, secretomes, mRNA. The best analogy applicable is that the products of conception produce regenerative materials that contain a full “orchestra” of components to treat patients!

How are they acquired? The amniotic and umbilical cord tissues are obtained from healthy, consenting donors who are under the age of 35 and undergoing a scheduled c-section. The FDA strictly regulates the process of how these tissues are acquired, tested, processed and stored to ensure the highest level of patient safety. During a normal, scheduled c-section, the products of conception are normally discarded. This includes the amniotic fluid, placenta, umbilical cord and accompanying materials. In this case, the products of conception are donated by the mother, with the baby being fine. The materials are placed in a sterile container and taken to the nearby FDA registered, certified laboratory right away.

What conditions benefit from their use? In the research literature there are benefits being shown for: • Arthritis: All Types • Soft Tissue Conditions: Tendonitis, Bursitis, Ligament Injury (e.g. Achilles, Knee, Rotator Cuff) • Sports Injuries • Neurologic Conditions: • Trigeminal Neuralgia • Migraines and Cluster Headaches • Post Herpetic Neuralgia • RSD • Neuropathy • Pelvic Pain • Back Pain • Diabetes• Lyme Disease • Plantar Fasciitis • SI Joint Pain • Tennis/Golfers Elbow • Fibromyalgia •

The list of conditions that benefit from amniotic/umbilical procedures is extensive and continues to grow. With the way these biologics are regulated by the FDA, they may be used for conditions where physicians deem them to be safe and clinically useful. Our disclaimer is consistent: No treatments mentioned here have been evaluated by the FDA. As with any medical treatment, R3 Stem Cell does not guarantee any particular outcome. No treatment protocol or specific biologic indication has been evaluated or approved by the FDA.

What is the difference between stem cell injections and PRP Therapy? PRP stands for platelet rich plasma and involves a simple blood draw from the patient. This blood is placed into a kit and spun quickly for 10-15 minutes in a centrifuge machine. What this does is separate the blood into several layers. The middle layer is termed the “buffy coat” and contains concentrated platelets, white blood cells, and 8-12 growth factors. There are minimal stem cells in PRP, if any. It is a very helpful regenerative biologic but not a stem cell therapy.

Amniotic and umbilical materials are very consistent. When the processing occurs at first rate labs certified by the FDA, the amount of cells are very high and extremely consistent. Unlike adipose and bone marrow, where the cell counts drop big time with aging and the quality of those cells diminishes as well.  One thing that should be noted is the MYTH that there are no live cells in processed amniotic fluid. The FDA does not require the material to be radiated, and if a low amount of preservative is used the cells survive the processing. In addition, cryopreservation does not kill cells. (If it did, egg donor programs would go out of business.) So labs that don’t radiate and use minimal preservative get plenty of live cells!  There are too many studies to count looking at the effectiveness of amniotic/umbilical tissue to treat musculoskeletal conditions.

Are all amniotic and umbilical cord products the same? The short answer is no. While the actual biologic material from the donor is extremely similar, the processing can vary. All donors are heavily screened for diseases and are under the age of 35. The DNA factors are removed to prevent rejection, making the biologic material immunologically privileged. The main differences occur when the material is processed at the FDA Certified lab. While the FDA is strict about how the materials are processed, there are some significant differences that can take place. For instance, some labs will radiate the biologic which essentially kills all the cells. Others will use a LOT of preservative which will kill all the cells instead of preserving them.

Suffice it to say that not all of these products are the same once processing is complete. So it is critical to receive treatment from an expert provider who is using a quality product. R3 Stem Cell has vetted the materials used extensively, which is just one reason why over 10,000 patients have safely received treatment over the past six years.

Why are regenerative procedures with R3 products so popular?  For starters, we don’t harvest from adipose tissue (fat) or bone marrow. Bone marrow derived stem cell procedures require an aspiration from the patient’s iliac crest (pelvis). Studies have shown a 29% incidence of chronic pain from the aspiration procedure along with potential for additional complications such as nerve/vessel injury, bowel perforation, fracture.  

In addition, as one ages the quantity and quality of stem cells obtainable from the bone marrow drops exponentially. It is illegal in the US to culture one’s bone marrow to amplify cell counts.  At birth, 1 in 10,000 cells in one’s bone marrow is a stem cell. This drops to 1 in 2 million by age 70. No matter how much one’s bone marrow is concentrated, the cell counts are a problem.

Adipose derived stem cell procedures require a mini-liposuction from the abdomen or buttock. The first problem with this is that plenty of patients simply do NOT have significant adipose tissue to spare.  The second problem with adipose procedures is interesting. Adipose tissue contains VERY HIGH numbers of stem cells. However, once the adipose is processed and moved to your area of treatment, over 80% of them die within two days. So they do not even get a chance to help!

Studies have shown that bone marrow aspiration procedures have a high incidence of complications. Twenty nine percent of patients end up with chronic pain, which is a real problem when the objective is to actually rid patients of pain. Can you imagine that conversation, “Hey doc my knee feels awesome but “WHAT DID YOU DO TO MY HIP?!”

How exactly do these materials work? The father of modern stem cell therapy is Dr. Arnold Caplan, a researcher at Case

Dr. Arnold Caplan, PhD

Dr. Arnold Caplan, PhD

Western Reserve University. His extensive work has shown that the regenerative materials used are predominantly acting as signals to one’s body, telling the body to “get to work” and repair itself. He actually recommends changing the abbreviation of MSC’s, which normally stands for Mesenchymal Stem Cells, to Medicinal Signaling Cells.

The goal is to “more accurately reflect the fact that these cells home in on sites of injury or disease and secrete bioactive factors that are immunomodulatory and trophic (regenerative) meaning that these cells make therapeutic drugs in situ that are medicinal.” He continues, “It is, indeed, the patient’s own site-specific and tissue-specific resident stem cells that construct the new tissue as stimulated by the bioactive factors secreted by the exogenously supplied MSCs.”

Having healthy cells is not a passive process. Active, regular tuning-up of our cells is not only feasible, but also necessary to slow aging and reduce the risk of cell dysfunction. We are, after all, only as healthy as our cells. Imperceptible cell dysfunction that is not corrected early can lead to disease. Fine-tuning can be done daily in only minutes, using pulsed electromagnetic fields (PEMFs). In addition, when there is a known imbalance (when symptoms are present) or there is a known disease or condition, PEMF treatments, used either alone or along with other therapies, can often help cells rebalance dysfunction faster.

Dr. Hessler utilizes Pulsed Electromagnetic Field Therapy to facilitate the regenerative therapy’s effectiveness. PEMF is very helpful, how does it work?

What is PEMF?

Just like a battery, the human body is electric. Our cells carry voltage. The electric charges necessary to maintain optimum health in our cells can decline from age, injuries and illness. Pulsed Electromagnetic Field Therapy (PEMF) helps to restore this healthy electrical balance within the body.

PEMFs work to:
· Reduce pain, inflammation, the effects of stress on the body, and platelet adhesion.
· Improve energy, circulation, blood and tissue oxygenation, sleep quality, blood pressure and cholesterol levels, the uptake of nutrients, cellular detoxification and the ability to regenerate cells.
· Balance the immune system and stimulate RNA and DNA.
· Accelerate repair of bone and soft tissue.
· Relax muscles.

Pulsed electromagnetic field (PEMF) therapy is FDA-approved to fuse bones and has been cleared in certain devices to reduce swelling and joint pain. Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) and Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) work on the same physics.

This therapy has been used to treat pain and edema in soft tissue for over 60 years. The technology stemmed from radio frequency (RF) diathermy, which utilized a continuous electromagnetic field to produce heat in soft tissue.

A moving – or resonating – magnetic field can create currents without heating and thus directly alter cellular signaling. It has been firmly established that tissues including blood, muscle, ligaments, bone and cartilage respond to biophysical input, including electrical and electromagnetic fields. New studies show that with the proper field intensity and frequency, treatment with PEMF appears to be disease-modifying. The stimulation provided by PEMF treatments favorably affects cartilage homeostasis.

What sets us apart? In our office we follow up stem cell injections with applications of PEMF.  The thought is that if we are

Dr. Monte Hessler

Dr. Monte Hessler

regenerating tissue, lets charge the treated area with PEMF to create the healthiest tissue possible.

Monte Hessler, DC, CCSP

As a longstanding medical “pillar” in Phoenix, Dr. Hessler has been a provider to many professional and amateur athletes. He works closely with his medically integrated team, and is excited about the outcomes being seen with regenerative therapies. Call us today at (480) 466-0980 for a free consultation and visit his website HERE!

R3 Stem Cell works nationwide with the top regenerative providers at over 30 Centers of Excellence. Over 10,000 patients have been successfully treated, with patient satisfaction exceeding 95%. For the best treatment for you and your loved ones, opt for the Network that has the experience, expertise and patient compassion expected. Call us now.

 

Degenerative Arthritis of the Shoulder

Many think that joint pain is just part of the aging process. The old adage that our joints get stiff and we get slower as we age is certainly true, but the pain associated this can be debilitating and have a significant impact on someone’s quality of life. Osteoarthritis, also known as degenerative or wear and tear arthritis is a chronic condition estimated to affect 1 in 10 Americans over the age of 60. Many of these individuals will suffer the condition in their shoulder, making everyday tasks like clearing up or cooking difficult and painful.

What is osteoarthritis? What joints does it affect?

 

As mentioned previously, osteoarthritis is often referred to as degenerative arthritis or “wear and tear” of your joints. But what exactly does this mean? In a normal joint two bones come together. To stop these bones from rubbing up against one another humans have developed an ingenious cushion layer known as cartilage. Cartilage acts as a sort of shock absorber that stops painful bone on bone contact from occurring. Over time though this cartilaginous layer wears itself down and often doesn’t repair. This results in bone on bone contact and significant pain in the joint affected.

 

What symptoms are common in osteoarthritis of the shoulder?

 

There are a number of common symptoms and signs associated with degenerative arthritis of the shoulder. These include:

 

  • Pain in the joint. This is usually on activity and not at night when you are not moving the joint.
  • A limited range of motion – often the shoulder cannot be moved up high without significant pain
  • An odd looking shoulder is often a key sign. You may be able to see a difference to the other shoulder.
  • People often also report something known as crepitus. This is a creaking that may be audible but is often felt when the joint is moving. It can often feel like something is crunching within the joint.

There are numerous symptoms and signs associated with degenerative arthritis

How is it diagnosed?

 

The diagnosis of degenerative arthritis is often clinical, but an X-ray can be ordered which will show loss of cartilage amongst other things.

 

How is it treated?

 

The treatment of osteoarthritis is an area that is constantly changing and there are many options. Some of the better options include:

 

  • Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications like Ibuprofen or Aspirin. The drugs reduce the production of inflammatory molecules that increased the number of pain signals sent to the brain. However, in some people, they may not be the correct treatment (for instance if you have a history of peptic ulcers etc).
  • Joint injections like steroid injections can be tried to reduce the inflammation in the joint and again reduce the number of pain signals the brain receives.
  • Stem cell therapy is a new treatment offered by specialist clinics across the United States that have been shown to help regrow the cartilage and significantly help the symptoms of shoulder osteoarthritis.

Understanding Arthritis for People Who Experience this Common Condition

As we age we are more and more likely to feel aches, pains, creaks, and squeaks of our joints. Many accept this as part of the aging process, but this seemingly forgets the incredible burden of osteoarthritis (also referred to as wear and tear or degenerative arthritis). In fact, 1 in 10 Americans over the age of 60 years will develop the disease. Of these, a significant amount will be in constant pain and some might not find adequate therapy. So instead of accepting osteoarthritis as an inevitability, is there anything one can do to prevent it?

What is arthritis?

Osteoarthritis is a disease of joints that often occurs in people over the age of 60. It is common in the knees, shoulders hips and hands. For those with the disease in their hands, it can be incredibly irritating as it affects their activities of daily living like cooking and cleaning. The pain and lack of movement are often very frustrating.

By understanding what osteoarthritis is, we can get a better understanding of how to prevent it. When two bones meet at a joint the body uses a protective sheath known as cartilage to stop bone on bone rubbing known as “eburnation”. Over time (or with injury etc) the cartilage can become worn down and result in a bone on bone contact. This results in pain and a reduced range of movement in the affected joints.

What increases your risk of arthritis?

Prevention of arthritis starts with understanding what increases the risk of arthritis and then not doing that thing. Inevitably age plays a huge role but this is not reversible. Other risk factors include:

  • Being over 50 significantly increases your risk.
  • Being female. Whilst the disease is common in both sexes there seem to be more women affected than men.
  • Obesity is strongly associated with knee and hip osteoarthritis. A famous study known as the Framingham study showed that the 20% of woman who is the heaviest have double the likelihood of developing knee osteoarthritis. However, there isn’t an association with osteoarthritis of the hands.
  • Osteoarthritis is more common in the hands of manual workers. People who do jobs that involve constant fine movement have an increased risk (presumably because they experience more wear and tear).

Osteoarthritis is a disease of joints that often occurs in people over the age of 60

Is there anything you can do to prevent it?

At the moment there isn’t much an individual can do, except for not work in manual jobs, that reduces your risk of osteoarthritis. Many of the factors identified above are not changeable. However, there are a number of new and exciting therapies to treat osteoarthritis. One of these is stem cell therapy, whereby individuals own stem cells are injected into the joint allowing the cartilage to regrow in a way that has not been previously possible. If you or somebody you know is suffering from pain in their hands that they think might be the beginning of degenerative arthritis, get in contact with a specialist clinic to talk about stem cell therapy today.

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