Posts Tagged ‘parkinson’s’


In STEM CELLS IN THE NEWS on December 15, 2012 at 8:58 am


“Scientists have been successfully deriving stem cells from ordinary human cells for years.  Researchers have reprogrammed testicle stem cells to make insulin and even harvested adult stem cells from the scalps and brain linings of human corpses.  A recent study published in the journal Natural Methods, showcases the ability to take kidney cells that are shed and excreted through urine and transform them into brain stem cells, without the unpredictable threat of tumors when transplanted to the host.  This new method could be useful in treating neurodegenerative diseases, such as Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s.”


The technique is described in a study that was published in the journal Nature Methods (Wang, et al., Nature Methods (2012) doi:10.1038/nmeth.2283). Unlike embryonic stem cells, which are derived through the destruction of embryos and have the potential to cause tumors, these neural progenitor cells do not form tumors and are made quickly and without the destruction of human embryos.

Stem cell biology expert Duanqing Pei and his co-workers from China’s Guangzhou Institutes of Biomedicine and Health, which is part of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, previously published a paper that showed that epithelial cells from the kidney that are sloughed into urine can be reprogrammed into induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) (Ting Zhou, et al., Journal of the American Society of Nephrology 2011 vol. 22 no. 7 1221-1228, doi: 10.1681/ASN.2011010106). In this study, Pei and his colleagues used retroviruses to insert pluripotency genes into kidney-based cells to reprogram them. Retroviruses are efficient vectors for genes transfer, but they insert their virus genomes into the genomes of the host cell. This insertion event can cause mutations, and for this reason, retroviral-based introduction of genes into cells are not the preferred way to generate iPSCs for clinical purposes.

Researchers use retroviruses to routinely reprogram cultured skin and blood cells into iPSCs, and these iPSCs can be differentiated into any adult cell type. However, urine is a much more accessible source of cells.

In this present study, Pei’s team used a different technique to introduce genes into the cells from urine; they used “episomal vectors,” which is an overly fancy way of saying that they placed the pluripotency genes on small circles of DNA that were then pushed into the cells. Episomal vectors can reprogram adult cells into iPSCs, but they do so at lower levels of efficiency. Nevertheless, episomal vectors have an added advantage in that the vectors transiently express the pluripotency genes in cells and then are lost without inserting into the host cell genome. This makes episomal vectors inherently safer for clinical purposes.

In one of their experiments, perfectly round colonies of reprogrammed cells from urine that resembled pluripotent stem cells after only 12 days. This is exactly half the time typically required to produce iPSCs. When cultured further, the colonies assumed a rosette shape that is common to neural stem cells.

When Pei and others cultured his urine-derived iPSCs in a culture conditions that normally used for cultured neurons, these cells formed functional neurons in the lab. Could these cells work in the brain of a laboratory animal? Transplantation of these cells into the brains of newborn rats showed that, first of all, they did not form tumors, and, secondly, they took on the shape of mature neurons and expressed the molecular markers of neurons.

The beauty of this experiment is that neural progenitors cells (NPCs) grow in culture and researchers can generate buckets of cells for experiments. However, when cells are directly reprogrammed to neurons, even though they make neurons faster than iPSCs.

James Ellis, a medical geneticist at Toronto’s Hospital for Sick Children in Ontario, Canada who makes patient-specific iPSCs to study autism-spectrum disorders, said: “This could definitely speed things up.”

Another plus of this study is that urine can be collected from nearly any patient and banked to produce instant sources of cells from patients, according to geneticist Marc Lalande, who creates iPSCs to study inherited neurological diseases at the University of Connecticut Health Center in Farmington. Lalande is quite intrigued by the possibility of making iPSCs and NPCs from urine draw from the same patient. Lalande added: “We work on childhood disorders,” he says. “And it’s easier to get a child to give a urine sample than to prick them for blood.”

Source:  http://beyondthedish.wordpress.com/2012/12/12/making-brain-cells-from-urine/


In VICTORIES & SUCCESS STORIES on February 9, 2011 at 9:40 am



Medical marijuana has been shown to facilitate stem cell implantation

In Medical Marijuana, STEM CELLS IN THE NEWS on July 26, 2010 at 1:00 am

As far back as April, 2009, research showed that medical marijuana can help with stem cell implantations.  Stem cells and weed, a potent combination! – dg

The uses for this medicine range from pain relief to stopping the spread of breast cancer. It has also been shown to facilitate stem cell implantation. Marijuana can be used to treat Alzheimer’s, arthritis, cancer, glaucoma, Parkinson’s and other conditions.

Florida could be the next medical marijuana state
Organizers around Florida ready to collect signatures

The Florida Division of Elections has approved a petition that may place a constitutional amendment on the Florida ballot that would allow the use of marijuana for medical purposes.

People United For Medical Marijuana has received approval to circulate a petition to place this issue before Florida voters in 2010. This amendment would give patients the right to grow, purchase, posses and obtain marijuana for medical treatment.

According to medical reports there are more than 1.7 million seriously ill people in the state of Florida that could benefit from marijuana’s medicinal properties. The uses for this medicine range from pain relief to stopping the spread of breast cancer. It has also been shown to facilitate stem cell implantation. Marijuana can be used to treat Alzheimer’s, arthritis, cancer, glaucoma, Parkinson’s and other conditions.

“Patients need a safe, affordable, and effective medication. We hope Florida will lead the nation in marijuana research to further its uses as a medicine.” said Kim Russell, chairman of People United For Medical Marijuana..



In BUSINESS OF STEM CELLS on September 28, 2009 at 9:50 pm

“Up 41.54% on Friday”

money - medicine-money1236814423Stem Cell Therapy International, Inc., through its wholly owned subsidiary, Stem Cell Therapy International Corp., engages in licensing of stem cell technology and the sale of stem cell products, as well as the provision of information, education, and referral services. It provides allo stem cell biological solutions that are used in the treatment of patients suffering from degenerative disorders of the human body, such as Alzheimer’s Disease, Parkinson’s Disease, ALS, leukemia, muscular dystrophy, multiple sclerosis, arthritis, spinal cord injuries, brain injury, stroke, heart disease, liver and retinal disease, and diabetes, as well as certain types of cancer. The company’s stem cell biological solutions can be used to alleviate the side effects of chemotherapy. Its principal stem cell products are solutions containing allo stem cell biological solutions, either adult stem cells, and stem cells that are extracted from umbilical cord blood. It intends to offer biological solutions containing stem cell products primarily in the United States to universities, institutes, and privately funded laboratory facilities for research purposes and clinical trials. The company was incorporated in 2004 and is headquartered in Tampa, Florida.

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Adult Stem Cell Research Helps Parkinson’s and Heart Failure Patients | Adult Stem Cell Research

In ALL ARTICLES, VICTORIES & SUCCESS STORIES on May 23, 2009 at 10:07 am
another stem cell victory - heart diseae & parkinson's

another stem cell victory - heart diseae & parkinson's

Adult Stem Cell Research Helps Parkinson’s and Heart Failure Patients

Posted 22 May, 2009 in Heart Disease, Parkinson’s Disease |

Balanced Article on Stem Cell Research

In a surprisingly balanced article on stem cell research from the mainstream media, Adult Stem Cells have helped at least two more patients- one for congestive heart failure and the other for Parkinson’s disease.

In an article by Forbes Magazine, they took a fair look at stem cell treatments abroad. Yes, there is the obligatory quote from Irving “they won’t work now- more research more research” Weismann. However, the author tries to show it from a patient’s perspective.

The first Parkinson’s patient she featured was Carlene Victor, who traveled to the Xcell Center in Germany. Carlene suffering from Parkinson’s for 7 years says ” I am not waiting for the FDA to rule to get treatments,” She went to Germany 5 months ago to get stem cell treatment for her Parkinsons. The results???

Victor is underwhelmed by her improvement. While she says she has more control over her feet, and the pain in her stomach that made it hard to sit has abated
, her walking has not improved, her right arm still shakes, her wrist hurts continuously and her right foot still tends to numb up.

What if Adult Stem Cell Treatment was Available in the USA

So in this case, all of you can’t accuse Don Margolis of only focusing on the success stories. However, let’s take a closer look at this. What if the FDA wasn’t slowing down progress and made adult stem cell treatment available in the United States. Victor did improve a little bit. Therefore, if the treatment center wasn’t half way across world and cost prohibitive, and her own Adult Stem Cells were available for use in the United States- she could get another treatment here and then probably get a little more improvement with a second treatment and then even more with a third– why not? They are her own cells, her own repair kit- there is no downside to putting them in, just some discomfort. And the FDA isn’t allowing you to use your own stem cells thus making people like her suffer and “wait until the 10 years of clinical trials are done” which haven’t started for Parkinson’s by the way.

Parkinson’s Patient Improved With Adult Stem Cells- Michael J Fox Pay Attention

There was another Parkinson’s patient who went to the same stem cell treatment center as Victor and at the same time. His name was Aubra Phillips, 50, who had suffered from Parkinson’s for 22 years. The Adult Stem Cells worked for him!

From the stem cell article: he’s “60% to 70% better” than he was. He used to drag his legs and have trouble mustering the strength to sign credit card bills; post stem-cell treatment, he can jog and take notes. His stutter is gone too. Says Phillips, “If I can improve the quality of my life for what I have left to live, that is all I am after.”

Stem Cell Research for Congestive Heart Failure

Lastly, the article takes a look at Andy Jordan, who was in congestive heart failure. He came to Bangkok for stem cell treatment with Vescell. Before the “Vescell stem cell treatment“, Andy had an ejection fraction of 19%. After– his ejection fraction was 30-35%– even his doctor was impressed!

All of that included in just one mainstream media article on stem cell research. Maybe things are changing? I sincerely hope so. There are a lot of patients who can be helped right now with Adult Stem Cells!

Parkinson’s Disease Treated With Adult Stem Cells

Laura Asks #2 – Why would someone like Michael J Fox not seek treatment outside the U.S.?

In ALL ARTICLES, Letters from Laura on April 7, 2009 at 1:00 am


  • Why would someone like Michael J Fox not seek treatment outside the U.S.?

Good question Laura. I have heard a number of theories on that…and the answers could apply to Christopher Reeve as well (but not Farrah Fawcett!).  In a nutshell…

Unfrotunately, Michael J Fox is a victim of the misleading media blitz that has been perpetrated on the US public for about 6-8 yrs. All focus was on embryonic stem cell research and no one in the US even knew about the advances that were going on outside except for some scientists and doctors.

If you were to google adult stem cells dated prior to about 3 days before the Superbowl this year, you will barely find even a dozen positive articles in a popular US periodical regarding the benefits of adult stem cells…that were happening any where in the world. And these treatments have been going on for up to 8 or so years! I have even heard rumors of quotes from the few pro-adult stem cell published articles being completely reversed or the articles themselves getting completely pulled without retraction or comment…but that’s a story for another day.

  • That explains the lack of knowledge the general public has about the advances of adult stem cells…but what about the scientists and doctors who are on the cutting edge of research?  Surely they knew what was going on outside the US?

Your logic makes sense and some were aware of what was happening outside the US borders but American scientists and doctors have been trained to believe that the American way (FDA, clinical trials, drug development = $500 million and 7-12 yrs to develop) is the only way to go.

This is also the only way the pharma companies can get patents and sell their drugs exclusively for 5-10 yrs to make back the $500 mill cost of bringing a drug to public.  And make no mistake, the FDA considers stem cells a drug. I have posted a number of article on this subject on my blog.

The scientists and docs have also been trained with an extremely exclusive amero-centric philosophy.  Just about every US scientist will take a verified, completed, peer reviewed clinical trial…even in a well-respected publication like the New England Journal of Medicine, but PERFORMED IN ANOTHER COUNTRY and they will REPEAT IT while following US codes and standards before they will allow themselves to begin to believe the results. I have confirmed this with 3 different scientists.

  • You would think that MJF, with his incredible resources of his assets and foundation, would be able get to the truth behind all of this…

I agree and I’m not quite sure why he is in the dark about adult stem cell and iPSC advances.  I checked his scientific advisory board and he has many brilliant scientists/docs and at least 7 from Europe so I have no idea why he and his foundation have been so incredibly embryonic focused.

Maybe that was his decision?  Maybe when you get to the top echelons of science you are very reluctant to put your name behind any treatment that hasn’t been fully tested, documented, etc.?

I don’t know but I was amazed to watch the video of Dr Oz talking to MJF and Oprah about Parkinsons and what he (Dr Oz) referred to as the death of the stem cell debate.  When I followed the expressions on Oprah and MJF’s faces I was sure that they were hearing about things they had rarely or never heard of before.

These are just a few theories I’ve heard bouncing around.  If anyone has others, I’d love to hear them.

Oz, Oprah, Michael J Fox and Embryonic Stem Cell Research

In ALL ARTICLES, BEST OF THE BEST on April 3, 2009 at 6:41 pm


The Wisdom of Oz

Visualize the surreal image of Oprah Winfrey, Michael J Fox and Dr. Mehmet Oz, wearing purple surgical gloves, sitting on stage around a human brain.  Dr. Oz explains the absence of Nigro-Striatal Neurons in the brain of Parkinson’s patients while lifting out partially dissected chunks of brain and placing them into Michael’s shaking hand.

The camera zooms in as Dr. Oz steadies Michael’s hand in his.  Dr. Oz weaves an intimidating, steel needle between Michael’s gloved and trembling fingers and illustrates the procedure for injecting stem cells into the brain by plunging it both into and through the quivering cerebellum.  Michael’s legs spasm and contort and my stomach clenches empathetically with what I sense is Michael’s extreme discomfort, but is really a symptom of his condition.

And yet, NOTHING could have prepared me for what happened next as Dr. Oz, unbelievably and without prelude or warning, makes the stunning statement:

“I think, Oprah, the stem cell debate is dead.”

“The problem with embryonic stem cells is that embryonic stem cells come from embryos, like all of us are made from embryos, and those cells can become any cell in the body, but it’s very hard to control them and so they can become cancer.”

While astonished by his public announcement, I soon began to wonder: “why did Dr Oz only briefly allude to the potential of iPS cells and the proven benefits of adult stem cell treatments?”  And then it became clear.

Dr Oz recognizes that the average person on an American street is led to believe, “a stem cell is an embryo is a stem cell”.  Due to years of misleading media saturation, as far most Americans know, there are no other stem cells besides embryonic.  Walk down the street and ask someone “what is an adult stem cell…what is an iPS cell”, and your inquiries will surely be met by blank stares.

So in retrospect, what Oz DID do, was truly…amazing.

Shunning the history of the love/hate affair Americans have with Embryonic stem cell research and ignoring the majority of US media over the past 5 years, the decrees of President Obama’s funding policies, the positions of the FDA and AMA and the fruitless decade long public pursuit of embryonic cures undertaken by Michael J Fox (with the benevolent and optimistic spirit of Christopher Reeve hovering over him) and before the bewildered eyes of Michael, Oprah and ~7.2 million viewers, Dr Mehmet Oz nailed the coffin shut on ESC treatments:

“I think, Oprah, the stem cell debate is dead.”

With this one simple statement on national TV, Dr Oz has taken the first step towards educating the American public about the current insurmountable limitations of embryonic stem cells and cracked open the door to the American collective mind-set regarding the potential of iPS cells and the reality that Repair stem cells (RSC) have been treating diseases around the world successfully for a decade.  Despite the fact that thousands of American doctors refer to RSC as “snake oil,” more and more American patients are realizing that the US medical system is faltering, dated and just not working while the greatest medicine the world has ever seen is available just beyond the borders of their own country.

The seeds planted by Dr Oz will take a long time to find purchase in the collective American mind-set.  There is too much embryonic momentum, media and drama, and America loves drama.  Embryonic stem cells will not go away and like Romeo and Juliet, this love/hate affair may have to run its course for most, despite Dr Oz stealing the “distilled liquor” and Romeo’s poison and dagger in an attempt to avoid all of the deaths at the end of this play.

To read more about this grim fairy tale: https://repairstemcell.wordpress.com/2009/03/30/a-grim-fairy-tale-americas-doomed-love-affair-with-embryonic-stem-cell-research-intro-the-romance-is-an-illusion/

One step at a time we will climb this mountain and slowly open American eyes to improve their knowledge of treatment options so all can intelligently exercise the freedom of choice in their individual medical care.  One inch at a time, Oz wisely created a pathway to an amazing new world of available medical treatments for what were previously believed to be incurable diseases and are in fact treating patients successfully around the world.

Dr Oz took this first step and it was a HUGE first step!

So from where I am sitting, I would like to express my heartfelt and sincerest appreciation for Dr Oz’s bravery, statements and actions.  Thank you, Dr. Oz and thank you Oprah; for allowing this sage doctor the forum to break the walls restricting millions of Americans from the knowledge of the medical treatment options they so unquestionably deserve.

To see the original video:


Stem Cells Redux


Stemagen via Bloomberg News -Updated: March 9, 2009

Stem cells are how we all begin: undifferentiated cells that go on to develop into any of the more than 200 types of cell the adult human body holds.

Few quarrel with predictions of the awesome potential that stem cell research holds. One day, scientists say, stem cells may be used to replace or repair damaged cells, and have the potential to drastically change the treatment of conditions like cancer, Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease and even paralysis.

All of these disease are already being treated outside the US with Adult/Repair stem cells. -dg

But the divisions over how to conduct that research have been deep and bitter. Most research has been conducted on embryonic stem cell lines  (in the US only! – dg) — cultures of cells derived from four- or five-day-old embryos, or fertilized cells. Opponents of embryonic stem cell research, which often uses embryos discarded by fertility clinics, want it to be severely restricted or banned outright as inhumane.

(actually, some don’t care about the moral issues, they just want the dying and debilitated to have opportunities for treatment ASAP! – dg)

The most important legislation relating to stem cell research is known as the Dickey-Wicker amendment, which first became law in 1996, and has been renewed by Congress every year since. It specifically bans the use of tax dollars to create human embryos – a practice that is routine in private fertility clinics – or for research in which embryos are destroyed, discarded or knowingly subjected to risk of injury.

via Stem Cells.

U-M unveils new stem cell research initiative | detnews.com | The Detroit News

In ALL ARTICLES, STEM CELLS IN THE NEWS on March 10, 2009 at 11:53 pm


U-M unveils new stem cell research initiative

Monday, March 9, 2009 -Tanveer Ali / The Detroit News

ANN ARBOR — University of Michigan announced plans today to launch the state’s first major program taking advantage of a statewide vote that legalized embryonic stem cell research.

The Consortium for Stem Cell Therapies will use surplus embryos from fertility centers, initially targeting such ailments as Lou Gehrig’s Disease, Huntington’s, Alzheimer’s and diabetes.

(missing the forest for the trees again – dg)

The announcement comes the same day that President Barack Obama signed an executive order reversing eight years of restrictions on federal funding toward that type of research.

The program is expected to begin in the spring and has already received $2 million in funding. Sean Morrison, director of the University of Michigan’s Center for Stem Cell Biology, said more money is expected now that Obama signed the order.

“The people of Michigan should understand by virtue of voting for Proposal 2, this puts us in position to benefit from this funding,” Morrison said.

via U-M unveils new stem cell research initiative | detnews.com | The Detroit News.

Virus-free Embryonic-like Stem Cells Made From Skin Of Parkinson’s Disease Patients

In ALL ARTICLES, SCIENCE & STEM CELLS on March 10, 2009 at 10:13 pm

The researchers stained the cells green for a neuron-specific protein (class III beta-tubulin) and red for a dopamine-producing neuron-specific enzyme (tyrosine hydroxylase).

ScienceDaily: Your source for the latest research news and science breakthroughs — updated daily

As I’ve mentioned over and over…very soon, adult stem cells will do anything that embryonic stem cells can do…minus the tumor causing property of course. – dg

This marks the first time researchers have generated human iPS cells that have maintained their embryonic stem-cell-like properties after the removal of reprogramming genes. The findings are published in the March 6 edition of the journal Cell.

via Virus-free Embryonic-like Stem Cells Made From Skin Of Parkinson’s Disease Patients.

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