DAVID GRANOVSKY

Posts Tagged ‘OPTIC’

BENNY HILL IS ALIVE AND WELL AS BRITAIN GOES BLIND

In ALL ARTICLES on September 23, 2011 at 7:00 am

Remember in the final scene of every episode of Benny Hill where he does something really scandalous and then gets chased by the entire cast around and around in circles?  Turns out, Benny Hill is ALIVE AND WELL and advising Britain on their medical protocols!  https://i0.wp.com/www.webtvwire.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/06/the-benny-hill-show-logo.jpg

You see, Britain, like the USA, is chasing this fleet footed “embryonic stem cell treatment comedy of errors” around and around in circles just like in the Benny Hill episodes.  Every week, the same scene is played out with Benny running, the entire cast chasing and he never gets caught.  So in Art, so in life.  Britain is chasing embryonic stem cells used for treatment of optic diseases.  And remember…

  • Embryonic stem cells STILL have ZERO successful clinical trials
  • Embryonic stem cells STILL cause cysts and tumors that can become cancerous (wait 20 years and ask again though)
  • Embryonic stem cells STILL have rejection issues that require immunosuppressive drugs
  • Embryonic stem cells STILL carry the genetic anomalies of the donor
ON THE OTHER HAND…

So on top of wasting time chasing a cure with no prior history of success and huge negative side effects, thy are running right past a treatment with a huge history of success and safety and trials.

So cue up the cameras, get everyone in costume and let’s start that famous music going as everyone chases embryonic stem cell treatments around and around.  Wait! STOP! Hold it! CUT!

How on earth can we explain the entire medical community and government running right past what already works?  Got it! Give them all blindfolds!  That way they can be assured to miss the forest but they will hit every damn tree in it and so will the patients, patiently waiting for treatments which will never come!

…annndddd   ACTION!!!

Iris of a human eye

First trial of embryonic stem cell treatment in Europe gets green light

Patients in Britain with an eye disease that leads to blindness will take part in Europe’s first human embryonic stem cell trial

British surgeons are to take part in the first trial in patients of a human embryonic stem cell therapy to gain approval from regulators in Europe.

Surgeons at Moorfields Eye Hospital in London will inject cells into the eyes of 12 patients with an incurable eye disease called Stargardt’s macular dystrophy, one of the main causes of blindness in young people…

Read more

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14-month old can see, thanks to stem cells

In ALL ARTICLES on September 13, 2011 at 1:01 pm

JAMES WOODCOCK/Gazette Staff – Kaile Milton plays with her 14-month-old daughter, Skylie. Skylie recently had stem cell surgery in China to correct blindness caused by septo-optic dysplasia. Skylie and her family spent 28 days in China for her treatment.

Skylie Milton’s grandma held out a cracker while standing on the other side of the room.

“Come on, Skylie, come get a cracker,” she said.

The 14-month-old Billings girl whipped her head around, smiled from ear to ear and hobbled across the living room toward the snack.

Once Skylie got within its grasp, she reached out, took the cracker and brought it to her mouth.

It’s something she couldn’t have done just a few months ago when she could see only about a foot away.

Thanks to stem cell research, and $40,000 raised by the community to send Skylie to China for stem cell injections, the giggling girl can now see just beyond 25 feet.

“It’s just amazing, it’s awesome,” said Skylie’s mom, Kaile Milton.

Lying beside Skylie on the floor as she played with blocks, Milton still seemed to not believe her girl could see.

The doctors in China shared her amazement, Milton said.

“They were surprised she took to it so well,” Milton said. “Usually they don’t see that much progress that quickly.”

Because the type of stem cell therapy the family settled on is considered experimental in the United States, the family had trouble finding a doctor in the area who would support them. It was further research that led them to China.

Skylie received seven stem cell injections geared toward improving the her eyesight.

Skylie was born missing her septum pellucidum, the part of the brain that separates the right and left hemispheres. Without it, her optic nerves never fully developed, diminishing her eyesight.

In addition, doctors determined that Skylie suffers from septo-optic dysplasia, which affects both her eyesight and the hormones related to the pituitary gland. It affects about 1 in 10,000 births, according to the National Library of Medicine.

To improve their daughter’s eyesight, the Miltons settled on stem cell injections and then looked to the community for help. The response was overwhelming.

The person who stands out the most to Milton’s mind is Dana Lariviere of Billings, who volunteered to head a fundraiser that helped raise more than $11,000.

“We wouldn’t have made the trip without them all,” Milton said.

In China

The family was able to stay in a room at the hospital, putting them close to Skylie during her 28 days abroad.

Most of the injections were given through her arm, though a few had to be given through her head.

“Watching the IV was horrible,” Milton said. “One day they had to poke her seven times, then eventually just had to put it in her head. But she took to it really well.”

To help soothe the child, the doctors would sing her “Old MacDonald” — in Chinese.

When she wasn’t receiving an injection, Skylie was undergoing rehabilitation treatments to help keep her blood flowing and the stem cells stimulated, including acupressure, electrical stimulation, walking training and cup therapy five times a week.

To continue her progress, Milton said they make sure to massage around her eyes and her head.

It’s unknown whether Skylie will need additional stem cell injections through the procedure, which is not available in the United States.

Not alone

During Skylie’s treatment, the Miltons met two other couples going through the same procedure, both from the United States.

When they weren’t waiting in the hospital, the group was able to go into the city and take in the culture.

It was quite a shock, especially seeing strangers’ adoration for Skylie.

“We couldn’t even go to the store, it would take an hour to get down the aisle,” said Rel, the grandmother. “People were taking pictures with her.

“They were very warm and loving toward her; we couldn’t keep her away from everyone.”

Suffering from jet lag and exhausted from the daily procedures, the family mostly stuck to the hotel, watching movies and having pizza — and McDonalds — delivered to the room.

“It was definitely close quarters,” Rel said. “You don’t get to venture off too much by yourself.”

Coming home

Skylie came home on Aug. 1, and not a moment too soon. The last few weeks of treatment were miserable.

It wasn’t because of the injections. Skylie was teething.

“She was not feeling good at all,” Milton said. “She was cranky.”

Now when she is fussy, all Milton has to do is start counting, holding up her fingers for her daughter to see.

Her crying calms down and changes to laughter as she starts clapping her hands, gets up and moves on to her next adventure.

OPTIC NERVE HYPOPLASIA, SEPTO-OPTIC DYSPLASIA, MACULAR DEGENERATION and OPTIC CHEMICAL BURNS

In VICTORIES & SUCCESS STORIES on February 11, 2011 at 9:41 am

Until she was 15, Morse had 20/4,000 vision in one eye and only light perception in the other due to optic nerve hypoplasia, or an underdevelopment of the nerve that transmits vision signals from the eye to the brain. She could make out human figures but not see details, could only read if the paper was within inches of her eye, and could only watch TV standing with her nose pressed to the glass…

After raising $15,000 from community donations, the mother and daughter set out for China on July 4…

She received spinal injections of cord blood stem cells each week for six weeks. After her third treatment, she realized she could read and knew the treatments were working…

More info on OPTIC NERVE HYPOPLASIA, SEPTO-OPTIC DYSPLASIA, MACULAR DEGENERATION and OPTIC CHEMICAL BURNS:

Treatment with adult stem cells, due to the amazing transformation from blindness to sight, are some of the most powerful success stories in adult stem cell treatments.

·         Macie Morse from Colorado before stem cells had 20/4000 vision in one eye and in the other eye she only had “light perception,” she could only make out light.  Also, she could only watch TV with her nose pressed against the glass. After treatment she had 20/80 vision in one eye and the other is 20/400+.  She is now driving her family’s van and enjoying her new driving permit. https://repairstemcell.wordpress.com/2009/02/16/stem-cells-optic-nerve-hypoplasia-victory/

·         Jakob Bielski from Canada received stem cell treatment because he couldn’t see at all and had no response to light.  After the Cord Blood Stem Cells Were Implanted he has some vision, can respond to visual information and responds to light.

·         Dakota Clarke’s mother said “It’s been worth every single penny to see the changes in her.”

·         Coby Fend’s mother said ““We are talking about going back — we’d almost be crazy not to, because right now it’s the best thing going in the entire world.”

·         Connor Corkern’s mother said: “He’s doing great. He is doing wonderful. It’s like we’ve got a totally new baby.”

·         Cameron Petersen’s Grandma said: “There was nothing for Cameron before this treatment. Now, his world is limitless.”

·         Lydia Black’s father said: “the treatment is already having a huge effect on her life, and he is glad that she was able to receive stem cell treatment…”

·         Savannah Watring’s mother said: “She said hello to herself in an elevator (after seeing her reflection). It blew everyone away. We weren’t expecting that.”

·         Xavier Carballo’s ophthalmologist, Dr. Jack Guggino of Tampa, said he did a baseline exam on the boy before the trip to China and after his return. Before the treatment Xavier could only detect hand motion at 1 to 2 feet, and after the treatment he could count fingers at 3 to 4 feet.  “As far as Xavier is concerned, there has been definite and measurable improvement, neurologically and ophthalmologically,” Guggino said.

·         Lawrence Brown III looks at the number “10” on a family laptop and tells his mother Georgina Brown what the number is as part of a daily exercise to see if his sight is improving. For most people, it is insignificant.  But for Lawrence, 16, who has been blind since birth, it was an exceptional moment.“They call it a really good placebo effect,” Lawrence said. “Whatever, if it’s a placebo effect, I want some more.” https://repairstemcell.wordpress.com/2009/08/09/stem-cell-therapy-shows-results-el-paso-times/

·         Blind Man Can See Again After Stem Cell Therapy – A man blinded after having ammonia squirted in his eye is now able to see again thanks to adult stem cells taken from his own body.  Russell Turnbull, 38, from England had therapy using stem cells taken from his other eye in a research study in London.

·         A study in the New England Journal of Medicine on 112 patients with corneal damage from chemical burns whom received treatment.  After adult stem cell treatment, a permanent restoration of a transparent, renewing corneal epithelium was attained in 76.6% of eyes. The restored eyes remained stable over time, with up to 10 years of follow-up (mean, 2.91±1.99; median, 1.93).  https://repairstemcell.wordpress.com/2010/06/24/chemically-burned-eyes-repaired-with-stem-cells/

VIDEO: Meet Sam, a visual artist who was confronted with the one thing a man in his profession fears most: Compromised vision. In his case his ability to see clearly was being undermined by age-related macular degeneration (AMD.) His Doctor harvests and uses a patient’s own stem cell-rich bone marrow to help effect healing. Sam discerned improvements in his vision within the first ten days following his treatment and siz weeks later the vision in his left eye had improved while that in his right eye was now normal.

If you or a loved one interested in receiving FREE information on currently available stem cell treatments for OPTIC NERVE HYPOPLASIA, SEPTO-OPTIC DYSPLASIA, MACULAR DEGENERATION and OPTIC CHEMICAL BURNS, please contact me at dsgrano@gmail.com or for other options, go to: CONTACT ME

SCOTLAND JUMPS INTO STEM CELL CLINICAL TRIALS

In ALL ARTICLES on July 29, 2010 at 12:11 pm

This video shows the Health Minister of Scotland discussing current stem clinical trials in Scotland for stroke and for eye repair.  It’s significant that they are in the stem cell game.  One more country recognizing the power of stem cells.

p.s.  It’s a short video and armed with my explanation above, you probably know everything you need to know without even watching it – http://video.forbes.com/fvn/tech/scotland-stem-cell-edge

 

And now for your viewing pleasure…a pic of Cuillin Mountains in Scotland

https://i0.wp.com/www.1adventure.com/archives/images/cuillin-mountains-scotland-backside.jpg

Other STROKE articles:

  1. https://repairstemcell.wordpress.com/2010/09/21/autologous-neural-stem-cells-benefit-parkinson%e2%80%99s-patients-adultstemcell-com/
  2. https://repairstemcell.wordpress.com/2010/09/20/stem-cell-treatment-for-stroke-and-traumatic-brain-injury-wholewellness-net/
  3. http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=can-stem-cells-block-stroke-damage
  4. http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/08/110831160216.htm

CHEMICALLY BURNED EYES REPAIRED WITH STEM CELLS

In VICTORIES & SUCCESS STORIES on June 24, 2010 at 12:47 pm

BRIEF SUMMARY OF METHODS

  1. used autologous limbal stem cells cultivated on fibrin
  2. treated 112 patients with corneal damage
  3. most had burn-dependent limbal stem-cell deficiency

BRIEF SUMMARY OF RESULTS

  1. Permanent restoration of a transparent, renewing corneal epithelium was attained in 76.6% of eyes.
  2. Restored eyes remained stable over time, with up to 10 years of follow-up (mean, 2.91±1.99; median, 1.93).
  3. Cultures in which p63-bright cells constituted more than 3% of the total number of clonogenic cells were associated with successful transplantation in 78% of patients.

—————————————-

MORE DETAILED INFORMATION:

https://i1.wp.com/content.nejm.org/content/vol0/issue2010/images/large/NEJMoa0905955f3.jpeg

Figure 3. Regeneration of a Functional Corneal Epithelium and Restoration of Visual Acuity.

[Brief: “All three eyes had total limbal stem-cell deficiency, complete corneal opacification, and stromal scarring (images at left).  In all three patients, autologous limbal stem-cell cultures successfully regenerated functional corneal epithelium.“]

Panel A shows the left eye of Patient 93 (see Table 1 in the Supplementary Appendix, available with the full text of this article at NEJM.org), who had total limbal stem-cell deficiency due to an acid burn (image at left). His visual acuity was reduced to counting fingers. A graft of autologous limbal cultures was sufficient to regenerate functional corneal epithelium (image at right) and to restore normal vision (visual acuity, 0.7), since the eye had no stromal scarring. Panel B shows the eyes of Patients 22, 26, and 46 (see Table 1 in the Supplementary Appendix), which were damaged by alkali burns and were treated with unsuccessful surgery 13, 30, and 3 years before admission, respectively. All three eyes had total limbal stem-cell deficiency, complete corneal opacification, and stromal scarring (images at left). Vision was reduced to counting fingers (in Patient 22) or perceiving hand movements (in Patients 26 and 46). In all three patients, autologous limbal stem-cell cultures successfully regenerated functional corneal epithelium. To improve their visual acuity after grafting, the patients underwent penetrating keratoplasty. In all three eyes, the engrafted limbal stem cells resurfaced the donor stroma. At the last follow-up visits (at 6, 6.5, and 4 years, respectively), all eyes were covered by stable corneal epithelium (images at right). The keratoplasty resulted in complete restoration of visual acuity in Patients 22 and 46 (0.9 and 0.8, respectively). The visual acuity of Patient 26 increased to only 0.3 because of a concomitant amblyopia (the alkali burn had occurred 30 years before admission). In Patient 46, the follow-up image shows that the conjunctival vessels stop at the conjunctival–corneal boundary (arrowheads); they do not invade the restored corneal surface.

https://i0.wp.com/content.nejm.org/content/vol0/issue2010/images/large/NEJMoa0905955f1.jpeg

Figure 1. Kaplan–Meier Estimates of Grafted Limbal Stem-Cell Survival.

[Brief: “the final clinical outcome was deemed a success in 76.6% of the eyes treated“]

Panel A shows the survival estimates for the cultures after one graft was placed, with partial or total success attained in 68.2% of the eyes treated. Panel B shows survival estimates after a second graft was placed in 11 eyes (a total of 12 additional grafts, since 1 eye was regrafted twice), indicating either partial success or failure. After regrafting, 9 of these eyes regenerated normal epithelium. Thus, the final clinical outcome was deemed a success in 76.6% of the eyes treated. All failures occurred within the first year after grafting, whereas successful cultures remained stable for up to 10 years of follow-up.

THIS POST IS AN ADDENDUM TO EARLIER STORY:  Stem Cells From Own Eyes Restore Vision to Blinded Patients, Study Shows – Bloomberg – VIA

THE IMAGES AND TEXT ARE VIA: http://content.nejm.org/cgi/content/full/NEJMoa0905955v1#F3

Stem Cells From Own Eyes Restore Vision to Blinded Patients, Study Shows – Bloomberg

In VICTORIES & SUCCESS STORIES on June 22, 2010 at 3:00 am

Stem Cells From Own Eyes Restore Vision to Blinded Patients, Study Shows

Patients blinded in one or both eyes by chemical burns regained their vision after healthy stem cells were extracted from their eyes and reimplanted, according to a report by Italian researchers at a scientific meeting.

Patient's Own Stem Cells Fix Damaged Eyes

The tissue was drawn from the limbus, an area at the junction of the cornea and white part of the eye. It was grown on a fibrous tissue, then layered onto the damaged eyes. The cells grew into healthy corneal tissue, transforming disfigured, opaque eyes into functioning ones with normal appearance and color, said researchers led by Graziella Pellegrini of the University of Modena’s Center for Regenerative Medicine.

The stem-cell treatment restored sight to more than three- quarters of the 112 patients treated, Pellegrini said yesterday in a presentation at the International Society for Stem Cell Research meeting. She estimated the work may benefit 1,000 to 2,000 patients in Europe whose eyes have been damaged by chemical burns and many more in developing countries where the use of chemicals is less regulated. Her patients were followed for an average of three years and some for as long as a decade…..

via Stem Cells From Own Eyes Restore Vision to Blinded Patients, Study Shows – Bloomberg.

Charlestown boy’s sight improves after stem cell treatment

In VICTORIES & SUCCESS STORIES on May 25, 2010 at 10:00 am

IMPROVEMENT: Connor Wink, 11, and his mother Tracey.

Charlestown boy’s sight improves after stem cell treatment

BY DONNA SHARPE – 18 May, 2010 10:44 AM

A CHARLESTOWN boy is showing marked signs of improvement in sight after his first round of stem cell treatment.

Connor Wink, 11, and his mother Tracey recently returned from China where he received a round of injections, which are not available in Australia.

The treatment appears to have had dramatic results.

Connor has gained light perception, a sign the treatment is working.

Born blind, he also suffers nystagmus, a condition which means Connor has poor muscle control causing his eyes to move frequently.

“That has slowed right down so it’s certainly a big plus,” Mrs Wink said.

Connor is the second Hunter child to undergo stem cell treatment in China.

Holly Arvidson, 12, of Denman, is having a second round of the procedure in a bid to restore her sight.

For the past 12 months, The Herald has been following the progress of Holly, who is in China with her family for the treatment which involves stem cell injections, acupuncture and bone marrow cultivation.

The treatment is only available in a handful of hospitals worldwide. It has an 80 per cent success rate but since Holly’s first round her condition has not changed.

Mrs Wink said she is praying Holly receives a positive result this time.

“Connor was lucky and we have seen improvements. We were sitting in front of a fire at the weekend and he could tell when someone was putting logs on it,” she said.

The Charlestown community and Connor’s school, Hillsborough Public, helped raise money for the China trip.

“We still have enough money to travel for Connor’s second round of treatment thanks to those earlier fund-raising efforts which Connor was a big part of, raising $6000 busking.”

via Charlestown boy’s sight improves after stem cell treatment – Local News – News – General – The Herald.

“OPTIC NERVE TREATMENT ABANDONED” or “HOW TO REGRET FOR THE REST OF YOUR LIFE”

In STEM CELLS IN THE NEWS on January 21, 2010 at 11:45 am
“OPTIC NERVE TREATMENT ABANDONED” or
“HOW TO REGRET FOR THE REST OF YOUR LIFE”

It saddens me to see people who are on the brink of improvement for their child’s condition are turned away at the door by anti-adult stem cell nay-saying UK doctors. This event will reverberate in their lives for years to come…and unfortunately I believe the parents will regret their choice for years to come. (my comments in red) -dg

Imogen James

Imogen James has a condition known as Optic Nerve Hypoplasia

The parents of a girl with sight problems have given up plans to take their daughter  for stem cell therapy.

Lauren and Nick James’ daughter Imogen suffers from an underdeveloped optic nerve which makes her virtually blind.  Her parents believed this treatment would work miracles on their daughter’s sight.  They raised over £28,000 to pay for the operation but will now return the money and give the rest to charity.

‘Former Optic Nerve Hypoplasia Patient and Stem Cell Recipient Dakota Clark is Doing fantastic’

Imogen James was born with Optic Nerve Hypoplasia which is congenital condition (i.e. present at birth). It means that Imogen is virtually blind and can only see things if they are extremely close to her. Lauren first heard about the stem cell treatment a year ago which filled her with hope.  “A year ago we met with Dakota Clark’s family who’d just been to China for stem cell therapy and they had given rave reviews, [saying] how fantastic it was and how Dakota had started walking, her eyesight was better, her speech was better and she was doing fantastic. “I’ll admit at the time I thought, ‘wow this is unbelievable’ so that gave us the boost.”

Stem cell therapy aims to replace or repair damaged cells but according to the NHS ”the range of diseases where stem cell treatment is proven treatment option is still quite small”.

A few comments about this:

  • Adult or Repair “stem cell treatment is (a) proven treatment option” in over 170 diseases (not very small)…in about ~2000 clinical trials, ~30-40,000 scientific papers and thousands of success stories.
  • Nat’l Health Services or NHS provides treatments to patients so their commenting on competing medical options  is extremely suspect and a conflict of interest.
  • I recently commented on an NHS article on MS with “More Info about MS and Stem Cells – https://repairstemcell.wordpress.com/2009/09/02/multiple-sclerosis-and-stem-cells-need-more-info/My comments were removed.

They needed to raise £30,000 to pay for the operation and the flights.  After raising £28,000 in a matter of months, the family was all set to go ahead and had booked flights for December 2009.  So close…so close…

But then the doubts set in. “Obviously during that time we were doing a lot of research ourselves but the more and more we dug into the stem cell therapy the more answers I wasn’t finding.  “I was finding a lot of questions, but I wasn’t finding any answers and unfortunately the company we were going to see, they were sort of evasive with the answers in a way, but I found out from speaking to doctors in the UK that they don’t have the answers either – no-one has.”  The treatment itself involves using an intravenous drip to feed the stem cells into the body, or by using a lumbar puncture .

I have seen the answers that this treatment center (one of the most reputable treatment centers in the world) gives.  They are respectful and honest and they are unwilling to make forward looking or optimistic statements.  Interested patients receive the facts and nothing more.  They will give you the results and experiences and data but no guarantees or promises because they can not and will not out of responsibility to their patients and their own integrity.  This is not evasive, this is the way it should be!

I feel terrible for the Jameses.  I wish them the best and hope Imogen’s condition improves every day.  I hope they don’t regret this decision for the rest of her life…but I’m afraid they will.  I hope they don’t become convinced in 2 months that stem cells are the way to go…but I’m afraid they will.  I hope they have read everything available on stem cell treatment of optic nerve hypoplasia [ https://repairstemcell.wordpress.com/?s=optic+nerve ] …the story of Macie Morse who went from legally blind to driving a car, the story of American Idol candidate Devin Riley, the story of the 40 or 50 more (and counting) ONH, SOH and MD (macular degeneration) patients whose sight has improve considerably since stem cell treatment and whose quality of life improvements are off the charts.

In retrospect, I hope they haven’t.  If they have seen all of this evidence and come so close and then still turned away is as bewildering to me as it is tragic. Sigh… I wish I could help them…maybe I still can. I don’t know… Perhaps they will see this and read all of the information available.  I’d like to help if I can…

“But few have spoken of the actual pleasure derived from giving to someone, from creating something, from finishing a task, from offering unexpected help almost invisibly and anonymously.”  Paul Wiener quotes

-David

https://i1.wp.com/img180.imageshack.us/img180/7520/youcanleadahorsetowateran2.jpgYou can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make him drink.

[something that you say which means you can give someone the opportunity to do something, but you cannot force them to do it if they do not want to – Cambridge Idioms Dictionary, 2nd ed. ]

THE STEM CELL PLACEBO EFFECT

In VICTORIES & SUCCESS STORIES on October 12, 2009 at 11:08 am

STOP! #2

Do not take one step further in your plans for treatment or read one more word until we answer this question, unequivocally and without a shadow of a doubt:

ARE STEM CELL TREATMENT BENEFITS MERELY A PLACEBO EFFECT?

Ok, what is the placebo effect?  H. K. Beecher evaluated 15 clinical trials concerned with different diseases and found that 35% of 1,082 patients were satisfactorily relieved by a placebo alone.  A reanalysis of Beecher’s data by Kienle and Kiene (1997) found “no evidence of any placebo effect in any of the studies cited by him.” The reported improvements in heath were real but were due to other things that produced “false impressions of placebo effects.”

In May 2001, The New England Journal of Medicine published an article that called into question the validity of the placebo effect. “Is the Placebo Powerless? An Analysis of Clinical Trials Comparing Placebo with No Treatment” by Danish researchers Asbjørn Hróbjartsson and Peter C. Götzsche “found little evidence in general that placebos had powerful clinical effects.” Their meta-analysis of 114 studies found that “compared with no treatment, placebo had no significant effect on binary outcomes, regardless of whether these outcomes were subjective or objective. For the trials with continuous outcomes, placebo had a beneficial effectThe high levels of placebo effect which have been repeatedly reported in many articles, in our mind are the result of flawed research methodology,” said Dr. Hróbjartsson, professor of medical philosophy and research methodology at the University of Copenhagen.*

And bear in mind that while it is believed that the Placebo Effect can do some things, there are limits:  “Because placebos often have an effect, even if it does not last long, some people think that the placebo produced a “cure.” But placebos do not cure. And in studies where doctors are looking at whether a tumor shrinks, placebos would be expected to have very little, if any, effect on cancer growth.” – http://www.cancer.org/docroot/ETO/content/ETO_5_3x_Placebo_Effect.asp

Confused? I don’t blame you. Sometimes hard science is anything but.  If placebo effect was a huge problem and completely understood then all trials would be placebo controlled, right?  In fact;

  • The FDA doesn’t require that a drug study include a placebo control group
  • The NIH obviously does not completely understand placebo effect because they are currently funding several studies related to the placebo effect.

Let’s for the sake of argument, define “Placebo Effect” and see if benefits from stem cells meets that definition:  “Placebo Effect: Also called the placebo response. A remarkable phenomenon in which a placebo — a fake treatment, an inactive substance like sugar, distilled water, or saline solution — can sometimes improve a patient’s condition simply because the person has the expectation that it will be helpful. Expectation to plays a potent role in the placebo effect. The more a person believes they are going to benefit from a treatment, the more likely it is that they will experience a benefit.” – http://www.medterms.com/script/main/art.asp?articlekey=31481

So Placebo Effect is dependent upon:

  1. a fake therapy
  2. a patients level to believe/expect the therapy will help them
  3. a patients ability to believe the therapy will help them

Of course, the gold standard for FDA approved drug testing is a clinical trial utilizing the double-blind study.  The double blind study uses a “placebo” in order to eradicate any possibility of a “placebo effect”.  50% of the patients receive the medicine and 50% receive a placebo.  In some studies, 33% of the patients receive the medicine, 33% receive a placebo and 33% receive nothing.  This type study even more accurately limits the possibilities of a “placebo effect”. (Too bad for the 66% not getting any therapy but I guess this falls under: “the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few.”)

Side note:  the opposite of a placebo effect is a NOCEBO” or negative effect.” This is when the patients report that they are getting worse or that unpleasant side-effects have occurred, a word derived from the Latin “nocere”, meaning inflicting damage.  Turn on the TV and you will see commercials, over and over, describing the negative effects of drugs.  What are the chances that current drugs, with their associated laundry list of complications broadcasted over and over on the TV everyday are causing NOCEBO effects?  Well, if NOCEBO are dependent upon the patient’s expectations of negative effects…I would guess that there is an epidemic of NOCEBO’s all over the US.  And the coup de gras?  The last line is always: “Ask your doctor if xyz-drug could help you,” feeding directly into that concern.

So…

ARE STEM CELL TREATMENT BENEFITS MERELY A PLACEBO EFFECT?

  1. Multiple studies have shown that only 30% of the population responds with a placebo effect.
  2. ~70-75% of those treated with repair stem cell treatments typically have a beneficial response to the treatment.

So, either

  1. There is no placebo effect and 70-75% really do benefit from stem cell treatments
  2. Given the 70-75% benefit, if 30% ARE placebo effect, then 40-45% are real

Even at the lower number of 40-45%, that ain’t bad considering a drug’s effectiveness requirement is in the single digits for it to pass FDA requirements and be brought to market!!

WHEN PLACEBO EFFECTS GO WILD

Let’s assume the benefits are all placebo effect.  Here are a few questions and cases that confuse me.

How can we explain the many, many results of clinical trials and peer-reviewed studies of stem cell treatments of:

  1. congestive heart failure patients doubling their ejection fractions?
  2. MS patients recovering from their symptoms for 2, 3, 5 years ?
  3. type 1 diabetics (insulin dependent) halving or completely going off their insulin for 2-5 years?

How can we explain the case of James Eilert?

40% of his left ventricle was totally dead.  Two months after treatment he did a follow up metabolic stress test using the standard Bruce protocol and scored 10.1 mets with a vo2 of 32. This was a 20% and 12.5% increase!  The doctor that had done his prior test blurted out “absolutely stunning!” This put him in the 95th percentile for men his age (out of a 100 men his age, 50 of them could not match the performance of a guy with 40% of his left ventricle dead!).

How do you explain the results of these clinical trials (there are hundreds if not thousands of others):

  • “Cord blood transplantation should be considered as frontline therapy for young patients with lysosomal and peroxisomal storage diseases.”
  • “Transplantation of umbilical-cord blood from unrelated donors in newborns with infantile Krabbe’s disease favorably altered the natural history of the disease.”

How can we explain the case of Dallas Hextell?

Dallas, a 2-year-old from Sacramento, California, received an infusion of his own umbilical cord blood as part of a Duke University clinical trial. Within five days, he showed improvements in the limitations imposed by the condition.  video: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/21134540/vp/23569985#23569985
via http://www.youhavealawyer.com/blog/2008/03/26/cerebral-palsy-improvement/

Can a 2 year old really expect to be cured of his Cerebral Palsy by a repair stem cell treatment? Can a 2 year old even understand these concepts?

Lawrence Brown III looks at the number “10” on a family laptop and tells his mother Georgina Brown what the number is as part of a daily exercise to see if his sight is improving. For most people, it is insignificant.  But for Lawrence, 16, who has been blind since birth, it was an exceptional moment.“They call it a really good placebo effect,” Lawrence said. “Whatever, if it’s a placebo effect, I want some more.” The original article was pulled, but there is a copy here – https://repairstemcell.wordpress.com/2009/08/09/stem-cell-therapy-shows-results-el-paso-times/

AUDREY Hynd-Gaw has travelled abroad for stem cell therapies to treat her multiple sclerosis…She…believes they have helped slow down the progress of her disease and given her more energy. She says she would like to go again.  “I think it has worked for me,” the 39-year-old said.  “It could be a placebo effect but if it works, that is fine with me.” – https://repairstemcell.wordpress.com/2009/02/21/stem-cell-tourists/

How do you explain Macie’s story and Kenidee’s story?

MACIE’s STORY

I would like you to introduce you to Macie.  She is 17 and was born with Optic Nerve Hypoplasia.  This is her story, in her own words.  We join her in the middle of her Repair stem cell treatment:

Wednesday, July 30, 2008 – One more spinal next Wednesday. I have a spinal tomorrow as well at 2 so that should be good so after my six hours is up I can go to bed because your not really suppose to move to much even after the six hours.

Thursday, July 31, 2008 – Today will be my second to last spinal. Mom and I decided to add on one more spinal before we left. For some reason I’m not nervous this time. I will be glad to get it over with though. They’ll be coming to get me in a little less than an hour. I’m more than sure everything will go great I’ll talk to ya’ll later 🙂  Bye

Friday, August 1, 2008 – I’m all done with the spinal I slept for 4 hours thankfully. It was a bit different this time. I woke up in the room where they made me go to sleep, for a few minutes I thought that I had some how woken up before they gave me the injection, after a few minutes I realized they had kept me until almost all of the anesthesia wore off.

Thursday, August 7, 2008 – Hey everyone!  I am so sorry I haven’t been updating lately. Yesterday was my last spinal, everything went great, the IV went great too, it only took one poke and I didn’t even really feel it. I am all done with all my treatments and I will be coming home on Monday 🙂 🙂 I’m so excited to come home I’ve been coming up with every little reason I can think of to start packing.  Being on this long trip here in china has definitely changed me and given me the hope that a few months ago I didn’t even think was possible. Going through the treatments was tough at times and a few times I thought is this a good idea should I wait but once you get over that hill it all seems to just get better and better. Now my dream of becoming a vet and driving is stronger than ever and I now I know that even if I have to do another round of treatments that someday I am going to drive and I will be a vet. Before I never thought that that would be possible.

Saturday, August 9, 2008 – Last day here in China – Today is the last day here, all of my treatments have gone good, I’m feeling great and I am more than ready to go home! I’m definitely going to miss everyone here and everyone I’ve met I’ve made some great friends here. Most likely in the next few years I will be getting treatments again it may not be here but wherever it is we’ll be there. I’ve had a great time since I’ve been here and I’ve enjoyed learning new things and just being here is amazing, I never thought in a million years I would be getting stem cell treatment. I know I am one of the very fortunate ones to have improvements so quickly after the injections. Bye

Sunday, August 10, 2008 – Mom’s post!! – Well, I can’t believe in about 12 hours we will be headed back to the United States. This has been the most amazing chapter in my life as an individual and as a mother.  One month ago I brought my little girl half way around the world in the hopes of improving her vision and I feel that we have succeeded. After two treatments we saw signs of improvements with her nystagmus (rapid and involuntary eye movements) and after three injections Macie had noticed that she had more distance when reading or writing.

We didn’t have any expectations for improvements while we were here in China because we were told that it usually takes some time, possibly up to three months to see any changes, so we were very delighted with our early surprise. A little gift from Heaven if you ask me!!!  It’s been so great to watch Macie with this big old smile on her face when she’s reading or writing and not having to be so close to do it. She keeps telling me how she never thought it would be possible and now here she is. We are so thankful for this to be happening.

While we were here, we had Dr. Tony who did a great job with Macie and was very good about keeping Macie’s spirits up when she needed a little boost. The other doctors that worked with us were Dr. Ma, Dr. William, Dr. Lisa and the king of the doctors according to Macie, Dr. Bing. He is fabulous. This guy was like a pot of gold to us, he has pretty good English, a great sense of humor and very personable. Dr. Bing was great to communicate with. He was also very good to answer all and any questions you had.

We had countless nurses that we had so much fun with. They try so hard to talk in English. Yolanda was great because she would boss Macie around when she didn’t want to mind me. Thanks Yolanda!! Fiona and Jessica are the little sweethearts and then we had several more who we loved!!

The staff here is so amazing. We have had so much fun with our translators from the treatment center. Every translator is unique and special in their own way and can make your stay here so. They are all our favorites!!! However, Mr. Happy Jack is something you just have to experience. He is the most energetic character I have ever met in my life. Jack you are a rock star!!

All in all our trip to China to me was very successful and I’m glad we did it and took a chance. Anything to help Macie gain some vision is worth it. I have no regrets of doing stem cell injections and look forward to the future of regenerative medicine.  Thanks to everyone who helped make this possible, we couldn’t have done it without all of your help.

Love you all,
Macie and Shel

Saturday, August 30, 2008 – Where home and back to normal! – We got home last Wednesday evening FINALLY! After 7 weeks in china we were home. It was a very amazing and interesting trip, that’s for sure 🙂  All the treatments went great I’ve made some amazing and extremely nice friends along the way plus I got to learn some interesting facts and see some pretty amazing things.  That next day mom went to work and I went with her to get all my books and figure out my classes. On Friday I went to school and mom went to work, we were both pretty tired but we did it. I had my first week of High School and I love it, and all of my teachers! It’s nice to get back to my normal life and to be home. I have greatly improved vision wise as well. Mom and I were driving home from school and normally I couldn’t see the signs until about 10 feet away and very rarely did I read them…now, I can see the signs from over 100 feet away and can read the signs from about 10 feet away most of the time. Mom has me practicing on reading the signs.  It’s amazing! See ya! 🙂

Saturday, December 27, 2008 – ImprovementsIt’s been about 5 months since we got back. Since we have been back I have noticed some life changing differences for me. I have noticed that now I can see the outline of the tree tops on the mountains, a bunny in the pasture while I was riding, seeing snow fall, being able to watch T.V. while sitting on the couch, read a good distance from the book, school work is easier to do, I’m able to see the board from the second row. All of these improvements make me think of how much going to china was worth it. I know that if mom and I had to go again we would. It was totally worth it. I have an eye check up on Monday to see how everything is going. We’re hoping that I will have enough vision to drive with a special pair of glasses, trying not to get our hopes up to high but were definitely keeping our fingers crossed. I’ll update soon.

Sunday, March 15, 2009 – A Whole New WorldHey Everyone, It’s been pretty busy lately with school and riding horses. I still have been having improvements. One of the improvements I’ve had is…

now I am actually DRIVING!! 🙂

I got my permit 3 days after my birthday!

TALK ABOUT A DREAM COME TRUE!

My vision has improved from 20/200 to 20/80 in my right eye and in my left I went from very little light perception to 20/2100, which is pretty good. When we went to the Dr to see if I could drive I read the very top row of the reading chart about 3 feet away from my face. Mom started crying and I’ll admit I got pretty teary eyed to. Driving has been going well we’ve just been driving around the neighborhood and stuff but I’m able to see the signs and lines stuff like that. It’s a little nerve racking for mom and dad when they let me drive:)

————————————————–

 

Epilogue:

Though both said they were nervous about the new treatment, they knew it was their only chance to see Morse’s life improve. She had few friends, bad grades and didn’t know where else to turn.

“I was scared and nervous, but I tried to be strong and to be like ‘this is my opportunity. I’m ready to do it,’ ” Morse said. She received spinal injections of cord blood stem cells each week for six weeks. After her third treatment, she realized she could read and knew the treatments were working.

“I yelled, Mom, stop talking, you have to see this,” Morse said.

She made her mother write out words on a piece of paper and hold it far away so she could read it back to her. Over the next few weeks and months, her vision gradually improved.

“I saw snow fall for the first time,” she told CBS4’s Shaun Boyd.
“What has been the most beautiful thing?” Boyd asked Morse.
“I’d say many things — but (probably) my mom’s eyes.”
“What was it like when she said ‘You have green eyes?'” Boyd asked her mother Rochelle.
“My knees went weak. I felt like I had just fallen off a nine story building,” Rochelle said, “That was a huge step for her in making that human connection. They say you can see the soul through the eyes.”

Via http://www.9news.com/news/article.aspx?storyid=109967&catid=339 and http://cbs4denver.com/local/macie.morse.cell.2.954956.html

Macie Morse, a 16 year old from Colorado, has made dramatic improvement in her eyesight after receiving Adult Stem Cells taken from cord blood to treat her Optic Nerve Hypoplasia. In yet another victory for stem cell research, Macie now has her driving learner’s permit after being almost totally blind before the stem cell therapy.

Macie before stem cells:

  • 20/4000 vision in one eye and in the other eye she only had light perception- she could only make out light
  • Could only watch TV with her nose pressed against the glass

Macie after stem cells:

  • 20/80 vision in one eye and the other is 20/400+
  • Driving her family’s van and enjoying her new driving permit

http://www.9news.com/video/default.aspx?maven_playerId=newsarticleplayer&maven_referralPlaylistId=playlist&maven_referralObject=1035413742

Now after the Adult Stem Cell research has helped her, Macie is realizing her dreams:

Macie joins our ” Optic Nerve Hypoplasia Club” with others who  have made similar improvements from this stem cell research.  Others such as Cody Fend, Cameron Petersen, Lydia Black, Lydia Olmsted and Rylea Barlett, Savannah Watring, Xavier Carballo, and Connor Corkern all have made great strides since receiving cord blood stem cells for their Optic Nerve Hypoplasia and Septo-Optic Dysplasia

Stem-cell therapy shows results – El Paso Times

In VICTORIES & SUCCESS STORIES on August 9, 2009 at 6:34 pm

“They call it a really good placebo effect,” Lawrence said. “Whatever, if it’s a placebo effect, I want some more.”

By Erica Molina Johnson / El Paso Times, Posted: 08/07/2009 12:00:00 AM

Lawrence Brown III looks at the number “10” on a family laptop and tells his mother Georgina Brown what the number is as part of a daily exercise to see if his sight is improving. (Ruben R. Ramirez / El Paso Times)

EL PASO — Lawrence E. Brown III easily spotted and then picked up a bottle of sunblock a friend dropped Wednesday afternoon.

For most people, it is insignificant.

But for Lawrence, 16, who has been blind since birth, it was an exceptional moment.

For him and his family, a gamble on a Chinese stem-cell procedure to treat his blindness is beginning to pay off.

The procedure is not available in this country and is met with skepticism by many American doctors. No treatment exists for Brown’s condition, said Dr. Michael Repka, pediatric ophthalmologist at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore.

Brown was born with optic nerve hypoplasia, an underdevelopment of the nerves in his eyes.

Before his family left to Qingdao, China, on June 20, his vision was little more than limited perception of light, color and shadowy masses.

He and his mother and sister spent six weeks in China so that he could undergo nine stem-cell transfusions intended to stimulate the growth of his optic nerves.

The cells were delivered intravenously on his arm or injected directly into his spine. He received acupuncture and electric wave therapy to help stimulate the cells’ work.

“I didn’t expect for it to go as far as it has, and I’m just wondering what the heck is going to happen in the next nine months,” Lawrence said Wednesday.

He jokes that he is part Chinese now that he has received the transfusions.

Doctors in China told him the stem cells would continue to do their work over the next nine to 12 months. He is exercising and taking vitamins to help the umbilical stem cells have the greatest effect possible.”Every day for the next year, every time I wake up, I wonder if something new is going to happen,” Law rence said. “Every day holds a new possibility.”

To measure his progress, Georgina A. Brown shows her son flashcards.

On one card, Lawrence saw six blobs a few weeks ago. Now, he can see six circles.

On another card, a nearly 7-inch-tall letter L that he first saw in China now seems a little too big when held about seven inches from his face.

He can now make out a nearly 5-inch-tall letter B from about the same distance on a computer screen.

His mom quizzes him often with the cards or other objects that happen to be around.

Lawrence has always read in Braille and is just starting to learn the letters by sight.

He is spotting colors more easily and is beginning to discern the different textures and angles of objects.

And his nystagmus, or rapid and involuntary eye movements, has lessened dramatically.

“I didn’t expect this (all improvements), but I hoped for it,” he said.

He hasn’t yet been evaluated by a doctor to gauge his improvement, but he said he didn’t need the professional confirmation to know the procedure is working.

The Browns said they’re not optimistic that Lawrence’s local doctor will declare the procedure a success.

“There’s a running joke (in China) with the staff. They call it a really good placebo effect,” Lawrence said. “Whatever, if it’s a placebo effect, I want some more.”

While in China, they tried to make the most of the new cultural experience.

With the help of a translator or simply through hand movements reminiscent of a game of charades, the family navigated their way through markets and parks and visited a temple, zoo and aquarium.

They shied away from eating much meat because it often appeared uncovered and not refrigerated at neighborhood markets.

At street markets, they saw displays of animal internal organs, roasted dog heads, bugs on skewers and stinky durian fruits.

Georgina Brown said it was much like being on Anthony Bourdain’s “No Re servations” television show that appears on the Travel Channel.

“We were going to eat bugs, but I couldn’t do it,” Lawrence said.

Georgina Brown said she was excited that her family could have that cultural experience.

“I think it gave them a different outlook on the culture itself to know how much we have here and how fortunate we are,” she said.

They learned a little more about the world than many visitors to China by socializing with other families at the hospital who traveled there from countries such as Libya, Switzerland, Ireland, England and Romania.

“This experience also gave my children an experience to see all the different children. There are children with SMA (spinal muscular atrophy). Children who can’t see, can’t talk, can’t walk.”

The Brown family returned from China on July 31. Lawrence has spent all day every day this week at band practice at El Paso High School. He will start his senior year of high school there in two weeks.

Meanwhile, the family is looking for someone to continue his acupuncture treatments in El Paso. They’re also in the hunt for a power converter that will allow them to plug Lawrence’s electric wave therapy machine into American power outlets.

He is hopeful that he can return to China next summer to undergo another round of stem-cell transfusions.

“There is nothing that I’m going to go through that I can’t handle,” Lawrence said. “You have to look at life that way, or else you can just sit and cry in a corner.”

via Stem-cell therapy shows results – El Paso Times.

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