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    • #16959
      John RQ

      Hi all, did anyone hear about Steam Cells Thereby for PD? Swiss Medic clinic is claiming they can improve and control the symptoms of PD. is this available nowadays and legit? is there an accredited center to have steam cells thereby for PD?

    • #16960
      Jean Mellano

      hi john, from what i have read, stem cell therapy is no a proven treatment for PD. HEre are some links that have good info:

      this was written in 2018, but it still has good info:



      This is from Michael J Fox, the best source of PD info and it was published in 8/2019:



      from 2/2019:



      Bottom line, it is not ready for prime time n the USA, but there is hope for the future


    • #17024
      Skip Shaputnic

      Thanks for the relevant stem cell article links, Jean.

      A scientific stem cell therapy trial is being carried out utilizing autologous  (meaning cells obtained from the same individual) dopamine neuron replacement therapy at Aspen Neurosciene, Inc. labs of Summit for Stem Cell https://www.summitforstemcell.org in La Jolla, CA

      Their approach involves the use of non-embryonic patient-specific neurons that replace lost and destroyed dopamine-producing neurons due to Parkinson’s. These induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) are patient-derived, so the stem cells and the dopamine-producing neurons made from them exactly match each of the patients and there would be no need to take immune system suppressing drugs to prevent rejection of the transplanted cells. Summit is very close to obtaining FDA approval and initial clinical trials will then follow.

      I toured their labs last year and came away very impressed by their dedication and professionalism. I shared my impressions with my UCSD movement disorder neurologist who acknowledged that their trial is a  legitimate stem cell therapy. He advised me, however, that current stem cell therapies do not address the pathology underlying PD–the presence of Lewy body proteins which are a hallmark of the disease. That is, the newly created stem cell neurons would still be subject to the formation of Lewy body protein accumulations. I ran this by Summit’s Chief Scientific Officer who agreed but noted that it takes a long time (perhaps 10 to 20 years) for the new infant cells to develop these Alpha-Synuclein proteins that are linked to PD and dementia with Lewy bodies, and the procedure could be repeated if necessary in the future.

      I plan to monitor this promising treatment closely as well as try to keep abreast of other emerging treatments that are coming down the pipeline. I’m 70 and if no other cures emerge by the time stem cell clinical trials ensue think this therapy, although it is not a complete “cure,” might still be worthwhile as I’d be pushing 90, if I live that long, by the time a second procedure might be needed.


    • #17026
      Jean Mellano

      skip, that indeed sounds promising.  do you know if the cells are injected into the brain or via the blood stream?  also, i believe  the stem cell therapy may only be effective in alleviating motor symptoms and does not help non motor symptoms.  in addition, i believe this therapy will not slow progression.  Is that your understanding as well?

    • #17027
      Skip Shaputnic

      Good observations. An important aspect of this therapy is that no stem cells are injected into patients. Instead, stem cells are a step in the pathway to obtain dopamine-producing neurons. These neurons are then transplanted into the patient.  My understanding is these neurons are injected into the brain. Per Summit’s literature, the new dopamine neurons will be used to reverse the progressive symptoms of Parkinson’s disease, but I’m not sure exactly which symptoms are addressed. Summit’s president told me that after treatment the patient no longer needs to take carbidopa/levodopa, which helps with motor symptoms, so I suspect those symptoms would be alleviated with stem cell therapy. Yes, in the big picture since this therapy doesn’t completely address underlying disease pathology I’d think that disease progression would probably continue but overall QoL would be vastly improved.

    • #17028
      Jean Mellano

      Like dr. Laurie mischley says, pd is like a boat with many holes, one plug is not going to fix it 🙁

    • #17150
      Skip Shaputnic

      Good news. Some more insight into Summit for Stem Cell PD therapy. Yesterday’s San Diego Union-Tribune featured this timely article “Aspen Neuroscience gets funding to pursue personalized cell therapy for Parkinson’s disease”


    • #17152
      Jean Mellano

      Skip that is great news. 2021 is not that far away for human trials. I am surprised Michael j. Fox foundation is not involved

    • #17173
    • #17213

      StemCellAmerica in SanDiego treats patients across the border with fetal stem cells. I read Ed Begley Jr. has had it done. Its expensive but I am just too afraid my wife will not be safe from any mishaps. Looks like a professional outfit.

    • #17249
      Gail Dons

      They have a lot of bugs to work out o this before/if it is ready for use by the general population. One of the problems is that the transplanted cell get Parkinsons, too!
      A really great read for up-to-date issues is the journal Movement Dsorders (you may have seen it on your doctor’s shelf – it is one of the biggies) You don’t need an account – just say you want to browse the free content (you don’t get access to every article, but it gives you enough to chew on) For example, in volume 34, #8, 2019 there is a great article on cell therapy “Why it doesnt work every time” I don’t have a link since I read it through the (free) MDS (not MDCP) app. However, here is the abstract:


      The clinical experience with cell replacement therapy for advanced PD has yielded notable successes and failures. A recent autopsy case report of an individual that received implants of fetal dopamine neurons 16 years previously, but at no time experienced clinical benefit despite the best documented survival of grafted neurons and most extensive reinnervation of the striatum, raises sobering issues. With good reason, a great deal of effort in cell replacement science continues to focus on optimizing the cell source and implantation procedure. Here, we describe our preclinical studies in aged rats indicating that despite survival of large numbers of transplanted dopamine neurons and dense reinnervation of the striatum, synaptic connections between graft and host are markedly decreased and behavioral recovery is impaired. This leads us to the hypothesis that the variability in therapeutic response to dopamine neuron grafts may be less about the viability of transplanted neurons and more about the integrity of the aged, dopamine‐depleted striatum and its capacity for repair. Replacement of dopamine innervation only can be fully effective if the correct target is present. © 2019 The Authors. Movement Disorders published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. on behalf of International Parkinson and Movement Disorder Society.

    • #17251
      Jean Mellano

      Gail, thank you for your in-depth analysis.  definitely food for thought.

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