Post Concussion Syndrome

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Post Concussion Syndrome | Stroke Recovery | Multiple Sclerosis | Parkinson’s Disease

  

Post-concussion syndrome (sometimes also called postconcussive syndrome or PCS) is a form of mild traumatic brain injury following a concussion. The symptoms – which include headache, dizziness, sleep disruption, difficulty concentration, and changes in mood and behavior – can persist for weeks, months, or years.

 

In most instances, symptoms of PCS go away on their own with time. However, PCS can cause serious psychological side effects, such as depression and thoughts of suicide. Although PCS is not entirely understood, doctors believe that structural damage to the brain, as well as the disruption of neurotransmitters, is to blame.

 

Indeed, athletes such as professional football players are turning to stem cells therapy for the treatment of PCS and Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE), which is another disorder that occurs as a result of concussions.

 

Here, the stromal vascular fraction (SVF) is harvested from adipose tissue and the stem cells are injected back into the patient. After preliminary studies, approximately 90% of patients with brain damage following concussions have experienced improvement in their condition.1

 

In a study performed at The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston, patients with severe traumatic brain injury that were treated with autologous stem cells experienced impressive results. For instance, in 25 patients with severe TBI, stem cell therapy was shown to reduce the body’s neuroinflammatory response to the trauma. Brain tissue was preserved as a result of the treatment, and no serious side effects were reported.2


Stroke Recovery

A stroke occurs when blood flow to the brain is hindered and cell death ensues. An ischemic stroke is caused by lack of blood flow, while a hemorrhagic stroke is the result of bleeding. Both types of strokes – if not caught in time – cause the brain to function improperly. Symptoms and side effects of a stroke include loss of sensation, paralysis, cognitive difficulties, inability to express oneself, loss of vision, and dizziness. In many cases, the aforementioned side effects are permanent, as brain damage is considered irreversible.

 

However, stem cell therapy can aid a patient in stroke recovery. At the Cell Surgical Network, preliminary studies with stroke patients have indicated a success rate in 55% of patients that are treated with autologous adipose derived stem cells from the stromal vascular fraction.

 

In a follow-up study3 of stroke patients who underwent stem cell therapy during recovery, researchers found that there were no significant side effects five years following treatment. In comparison to control groups, patients that received stem cell therapy had improved conditions, which was associated with serum levels of stromal cell-derived factor-1. Therefore, stem cell therapy is believed to safe and effective for stroke recovery.


Multiple Sclerosis

Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a demyelinating disease in which the nerve cells in both the brain and spinal cord are damaged. As a result, the nervous system struggles to communicate with the rest of the body. Symptoms include blindness, double vision, sensory problems, weakness, and loss of coordination, among others. MS can occur in isolated or progressive attacks, and neurological problems commonly remain.

 

Like many disorders of the nervous system, the cause of MS is not entirely understood. However, a malfunctioning immune system as well as failure of myelin-producing cells is likely to blame. There is no known cure for MS; however, stem cell therapy with autologous adipose derived stem cells has shown promising results.

 

In a multiple sclerosis study performed by Cell Surgical Network, 74% of patients treated with adipose derived stem cells from the stromal vascular fraction saw significant improvement in their symptoms. To quantify this result, over the course of 2 years the MS patients treated with autologous stem cells experienced a 52% reduction in MISS-29 scores. At the beginning of the study, baseline scores averaged approximately 90. At the end of the 2 year study, MS patients reported average MISS-29 scores of less than 40.   This development is exciting for patients that have suffered from this debilitating disease.

 

Parkinson’s Disease

Parkinson’s disease is a degenerative disorder that affects the central nervous system, namely motor control. As a progressive disease, symptoms generally increase over time. Early symptoms include rigidity, shaking, slowness of movement, and difficulty walking. In addition to declined motor skills, cognitive and behavioral problems may arise. Dementia, for instance, is a common side effect as the disease progresses.

 

The cause of Parkinson’s disease is unknown, but genetic and environmental factors are likely to blame. The symptoms which affect motor control are caused by cell death within the mid-brain, also known as the substantia nigra. A lack of the neurotransmitter, dopamine, in these regions causes these issues.

 

While there is no known cure for Parkinson’s disease, symptoms can be managed with medication. In addition, stem cell therapy has been shown to improve the symptoms of people with even severe symptoms of Parkinson’s disease.

For instance, in a Cell Surgical Network study that involved autologous adipose derived stem cells from the stromal vascular fraction, the success rate in the treatment of Parkinson’s disease was 64.8%.

 

As with all studies performed by Cell Surgical Network, the aforementioned studies were performed under IRB-approved protocols with patient follow ups performed every 3 months. Data on success rates are derived from a population of 400 patients, 54.8% of whom were male with 46.2% being female. Patient age ranged from 18 to 96 years old, with most patients being in their 60’s.

 

References

  1. http://fox8.com/2016/11/08/ohio-stem-cell-procedure-offering-hope-to-nfl-players-with-multiple-concussions/
  2. Charles S. Cox, Jr., M.D. et al. STEM CELLS, November 2016
  3. 2010 Jun;28(6):1099-106