The Healing Power of Stem Cells

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What Are Stem Cells?

They are cells that maintain a state of “open-mindedness” thoughout the life of the individual from fetal life senescence, to enable them to participate in repair, replacement and regeneration of the tissue they happen to be in, in addition to affecting tissues in other parts of the body by migration and by producing growth factors and cytokines. They are regarded as undifferentiated and are found in different tissues of the body, throughout life. The early fetal stem cells are “pluripotent’ with a vast potential; while non-embryonic adult mesenchymal stem cells are “multipotent.” This means they are less versatile than those of the fetus, but non-the-less can turn into several different kinds of cells within any tissue type.

Where Are Stem Cells Found?

Undifferentiated, non-embryonic adult mesenchymal stem cells are found everywhere in the body, in all tissues, but especially in fat tissue, bone marrow and blood- in that order.  The stem cells found in blood and bone marrow are hematopoietic stem cells because, under normal circumstances, they are destined to form red blood cells (RBCs), white blood cells (WBCs), and platelets; and those stem cells that are found in fat (adipose) tissue, among fat cells, are called adipose stem cells.

GCSC&RMC uses adipose stem cells because they are approximately 2,500 times as abundant as hematopoietic stem cells, per a given mass of tissue. Furthermore, no organs are hurt or disturbed in the process of harvesting adipose tissue, which only requires local anesthesia.

How Are Stem Cells Used?

Stem cells have the potential to repair human tissue and certain internal organs by forming new cells and producing substances to regenerate cartilage, bone, ligaments, tendons, nerve, fat, muscle, and blood vessels. Stem cells are being investigated and researched as an innovative treatment option for more than 70 major diseases and conditions that affect millions of people worldwide that have not found satisfactory treatment. These include diabetes mellitus, Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, multiple sclerosis, ALS (Lou Gehrig’s Disease), spinal cord injuries, various eye conditions, and HIV/AIDS.

The GCSC&RMC Process

Gulf Coast Stem Cell & RMC has a specific SVF harvest and injection protocol. First, a couple of ounces of fat are harvested from the love handle areas of the back, under surgically sterile conditions and local anesthesia, by minimally-invasive mini-liposuction. This procedure lasts a mere 20 minutes; and this small amount of fat yields millions of stem cells (at least half a million per ml of fat). In fact, it is possible to obtain well over 50 million cells from a single harvest.

After the cells are harvested, the stem cells are separated from the fat cells and are ready for deployment within 90 minutes or less from harvest. They can then be injected into a vein to reach wider targets throughout the entire body, and directly into target areas like the spinal space, joints and specific tissues.

Orthopedic

Stem cell therapy is a minimally invasive, low-risk option that may help patients who suffer from the daily discomforts of orthopedic conditions such as osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, sports-related injuries, spine disease, and general problems with shoulders, elbows, hands/wrists, hips, knees, or ankles. Research indicates that most orthopedic issues are fundamentally caused by inflammatory, autoimmune, or degenerative processes. Stem cells have the potential to reduce discomfort by decreasing inflammation, modulating autoimmunity, and repairing or replacing bone, tendons, and ligaments that have deteriorated due to injury or a degenerative joint disease. This investigational therapy could benefit the near 350 million people worldwide who are afflicted by arthritis, about 50 million of whom live in the United States, including over a quarter million children.

Neurological

Over one billion people worldwide suffer from neurological diseases. In universities and medical research centers around the world, stem cells are being explored for their regenerative potential. We at GCSC&RMC have research protocols for many neurological conditions, including multiple sclerosis, peripheral neuropathy, Parkinson’s disease, muscular dystrophy, spinal cord injuries, and more. Beyond their ability to become different kinds of cells, stem cells are able to cross the blood-brain barrier, aided by hygroscopic molecules like Mannitol. This potential for transmigration, or crossing the barrier, means that stem cells can reach broader areas of brain tissue that have been affected by injuries or degenerative diseases. This has been shown to be the case in a rat model. Subtle differences in brain function can affect mood, balance, thought processes, and other areas that have significant impacts on a patient’s overall quality of life.

Cardiac & Pulmonary Diseases

Cardiac disease is the most common killer in the United States. Every day, 2,200 people die from cardiovascular diseases—that’s 1 in every 3 deaths. Stem cells have the potential to help with the treatment of cardiac and pulmonary conditions such as a heart attacks, myocardial infarctions, congestive heart failure, ischemic heart disease, COPD, and pulmonary fibrosis. The purpose of our research protocols is to target inflammation, reducing it; regenerating cells lost in cardiac ischemia, replacing damaged or diseased heart-muscle cells, and promoting the development of new coronary artery branches. The latter can be effected through the production of substances like the angiogenesis factor. When an intravenous dose of SVF or stem cells is given, the infused molecules and cells pass through the heart to the vast capillary network of the lungs, where a significant proportion of the cells stay. There they participate in various repair processes, which, according to published results and our own, often improve gaseous exchange and may result clinical improvement.

Autoimmune Diseases

Autoimmune diseases happen when the body’s immune system turns against itself and starts mistakenly attacking healthy cells. Many disease processes are considered autoimmune, and many of those conditions have shown response to research protocols using stem cell therapy, including lupus, hepatitis, Crohn’s disease, rheumatoid arthritis, scleroderma, myasthenia neuropathy, CIDP, and ulcerative colitis. Deploying stem cells in these diseases may reduce inflammation of affected organs and tissues, regenerate damaged cells and tissue, and help modulate the immune response by possibly block compliment reactions.

UroGenital & Skin

Intersticial Cystitis (IC) and Lichen Sclerosis are among the most distressing, chronic conditions that can afflict women and men, although they are much commoner in women. There are an estimated 108 million people suffering from lichen sclerosis around the world. When women are afflicted, the labia may fuse together, adding to the distress. Our research findings, as well as those of others in our group (CSN), indicate that SVF deployment may help both women and men who suffer with those conditions. Furthermore, according to our research findings, patients who had local injections of filtered fat (nanofat) into the labia and surrounding skin, in addition to the SVF  appeared to have better outcomes. Clearly, in those who benefit the stem cells as well as growth factors and cytokines re-direct the atrophic, inflammatory process towards healing and resolution.

Erectile Dysfunction may be a very distressing entity to those afflicted and the condition afflicts approximately 50% of men over 40, to some degree. Naturally the causes may be multifactorial, but research results indicate that combining pressure wave therapy with SVF may result in significant improvement in over 60-70% of men.  In those who benefit, stem cells may have the potential to stimulate the growth of the smooth muscle lining of vessels and improve endothelial function, repair and rejuvenate damaged and effete cells and boost blood flow to erectile tissues.