Treatments for Newly Diagnosed Parkinson’s Disease 

Treatments for Newly Diagnosed Parkinson’s Disease 

Parkinson’s disease is a complex neurological disorder. It can affect many aspects of your life and wear down your mental health. Fortunately, there are now modern treatment options that help you manage your Parkinson’s symptoms. 

If you’ve just received a Parkinson’s diagnosis, don’t give up hope. Learn more about your treatment options so you can live your life to the fullest, regardless of your diagnosis. 

How Parkinson’s Symptoms Affect Daily Living

You’ve probably heard of the most common symptoms of Parkinson’s. They can make daily tasks feel more challenging and inaccessible. As Parkinson’s disease progresses, if there is no medical intervention, symptoms tend to worsen. 

Motor Symptoms: Trouble with Normal Movements

Parkinson’s disease is related to the amount of dopamine in your brain. When your brain cells stop producing the correct amount of dopamine, your movements change. You no longer have smooth, controlled movements. You may experience shaking, tremors, and slowed motor skills. 

Someone with Parkinson’s may have trouble lifting, bending, twisting, or even walking. In the later stages of this disease, Parkinson’s can cause complete immobility, necessitating wheelchair assistance. 

If you can’t move around properly, you can’t carry out many normal daily tasks. Cooking, cleaning, and self-care have become nearly impossible. 

Digestive Health and Gastrointestinal Problems 

Changes in your brain from Parkinson’s disease can lead to problems with digestion. You may experience constipation, bloating and indigestion, and urinary incontinence. Gastrointestinal changes can make eating a less positive experience for Parkinson’s patients. 

Mood and Personality Changes

As with any neurodegenerative disorder, Parkinson’s disease can cause mood changes. You may not recognize what’s happening to your mental state. Unfortunately, this is an expected symptom of this neurodegenerative disease. 

Parkinson’s patients may experience increased irritability, suspicion, confusion, and depression. These mood changes make it harder to get along with other people. You may start to feel like a different person altogether. 

Personality changes can impact your social relationships, which are essential for human health and connection. With the rise in stem cell therapy treatments for Parkinson’s, however, there is hope for getting back to your former self. 

Why Early Treatment Is So Important

Getting Parkinson’s disease treated early is essential to slowing the progression of this disorder. The earlier you catch Parkinson’s, the better your outcome will be. Since this is a neurodegenerative disorder, time spent untreated can worsen your symptoms. 

If you have just received a diagnosis, now is the time to start looking into your treatment options. What’s out there for you? Is there hope? The answer is yes. 

What Are Your Treatment Options?

Modern science and research have allowed medical providers to help slow the progression of Parkinson’s disease. Treatment options include various therapies to help you regain your speech and motor skills. Other innovative treatments, like regenerative medicine, help manage the condition by repairing tissues to improve your health. 

Changing Your Lifestyle

Lifestyle changes can have surprising effects on your overall health. Certain parts of your lifestyle may be contributing to worsening health. These can include smoking, under exercising, and overeating. 

When you receive a Parkinson’s diagnosis, it’s important to take your health seriously. Getting plenty of sleep and nutrition will help you feel your best each day. You should also quit smoking and give up other harmful habits, like excessive snacking on junk food. 

You can protect your health by including healthier habits in your daily routine. Lifestyle changes alone may not cure Parkinson’s, but they can improve your quality of life. 

Occupational, Speech, and Motor Therapy

You can opt for speech, motor, or occupational therapy to improve your skills in daily life. These therapies are designed to restore daily functioning in ways that promote independence. If you struggle with your current tasks, this may be a good option for you. 

Certified therapists will help you gain new skills that assist with movement, speech, and performing tasks. A Parkinson’s diagnosis doesn’t mean you’re doomed. With the right types of therapy in your life, you can achieve a higher level of function. 

Regenerative Medicine with Regenerative Properties 

Regenerative medicine, also known as stem cell therapy, utilizes mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs). MSCs are multipotent stem cells that can be isolated from various tissues, such as bone marrow, adipose tissue, and umbilical cord, and they possess several beneficial properties. 

MSCs hold promise as a potential therapeutic approach for Parkinson’s disease. This condition is characterized by the loss of dopaminergic neurons in the brain. MSCs have been studied for their ability to modulate inflammation, promote neuroprotection, and stimulate endogenous repair mechanisms in the brain. 

MSCs have shown the potential to improve motor function, reduce neuroinflammation, and promote the survival and differentiation of existing neurons. Additionally, MSCs can secrete neurotrophic factors and anti-inflammatory molecules, which may contribute to their therapeutic effects.

When it comes to Parkinson’s disease treatment options, stem cell therapy may be one to explore as a potential therapy in conjunction to others. Some patients experience improvements in their speech, cognition, and motor skills after stem cell treatments. 

What to Expect from Stem Cell Therapy for Parkinson’s

Scientists have not yet found a cure for Parkinson’s disease. However, with appropriate stem cell therapy, we may be able to slow the progression of this disorder. Here are some results you can expect from consistent stem cell treatments for Parkinson’s. 

More Energy

Stem cell treatments have given our patients more energy and less fatigue. You want to enjoy your life to the fullest. Why not enjoy an extra energy boost from the regenerative powers of stem cell therapy?  

Reduced Tremors and Shaking

Tremors are an inconvenient symptom of Parkinson’s disease. Certain stem cell treatments may reduce the frequency of your tremors and shaking. Arm and leg movements would then be easier and less stressful. You may find that your coordination also improves. 

Better Cognition and Memory 

Parkinson’s unfortunately affects the way you think and how much you can remember. Some patients have seen marked cognitive improvement after stem cell treatments. This is likely because stem cells have the power to regenerate damaged brain cells and improve overall mental functioning. 

More Fluid Movements

Stiffness and inflexibility come with Parkinson’s disease. Through stem cell therapy, you may be able to achieve more fluid movements. 

Managing Your Parkinson’s Diagnosis with Hope 

With a Parkinson’s diagnosis, you do have options to explore. Through traditional and innovative treatments like stem cell therapy, science may be able to help you reverse or slow the progression of this disease. Patients can have the potential to manage their condition and possibly help improve their daily life and activities. 

Review of the Delivery Route for Mesenchymal Stromal Cells Through Skeletal Muscle

Review of the Delivery Route for Mesenchymal Stromal Cells Through Skeletal Muscle

Mesenchymal stromal cells (MSCs) have repeatedly demonstrated the capacity to limit injury and promote regeneration through signaling and secretion of trophic factors. Considering this, MSCs have been increasingly used as a treatment for a wide variety of injuries and immune-related, infectious, and degenerative diseases.  

In this review, Jahromi et al. provide a brief overview of the fate and efficacy of intramuscular (IM) delivered MSCs and identify the gaps that require additional study before IM-delivered MSCs are adopted as a primary treatment of systemic diseases.

Specifically, a recent study has demonstrated significant advantages of using skeletal muscle for the delivery of MSC. While skeletal muscle has been used as a delivery route for myopathic, neurodegenerative, and vascular diseases, these studies have identified 3 main advantages of skeletal muscle MSC delivery. 

These advantages include extended dwell time provided by dense muscle fibers that retain the MSCs in situ; high vascular density that provides a conduit for systemic release of MSC trophic factors; and an abundance of tissue that allows for multiple injection sites.  

Research has identified two key factors that profoundly affect observed dwell-time variations of 72 hours to 8 months observed in MSCs transplanted in the skeletal muscle; these factors include immune rejection and the methods used for MSC detections. Considering this, the authors point out that allotransplantation provides an advantage since MSCs exhibit low immunogenicity and are expected to evade the immune system. 

Although little information on the IM delivery of MSCs currently exists, previously conducted clinical trials demonstrated no therapeutic advantage of using higher doses of MSCs; other studies demonstrated medium doses of MSCs to be more effective than either a lower or higher dose.

While IM-delivery has been shown to be clinically safe and increases the longevity of the secretory activity of the delivered cells, the authors point out that it is important to further evaluate the fate of MSCs post-delivery in skeletal muscle.

Jahromi et al. conclude that the studies reviewed as part of this brief collectively support the notion of broadening the applicability of IM-delivery route from local therapy to the treatment of system disease with multiple studies demonstrating IM-delivered MSCs to be safe and to provide and extended dwell time while remaining secretorily active.

Source:   “Concise Review: Skeletal Muscle as a Delivery Route for … – NCBI.” 5 Feb. 2019, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6477141/.

Umbilical Cord Derived Mesenchymal Stem Cells for Managing Symptoms of Ankylosing Spondylitis

Umbilical Cord Derived Mesenchymal Stem Cells for Managing Symptoms of Ankylosing Spondylitis

Ankylosing spondylitis (AS) is a chronic and progressive inflammatory disease that primarily affects the sacroiliac joints and the spine; in rare cases, AS can also cause issues for the peripheral joints and extra-articular organs, including the skin, eyes, and cardiovascular system.

While there are a number of drugs prescribed to treat symptoms associated with AS, there is currently not a cure for AS nor is there a  non-pharmaceutical method for treating the condition and its symptoms.

Considering the potent immune-modulated activity and their ability to inhibit B cell differentiation, T cell activation, and proliferation, researchers have increasingly been exploring the use of mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) as a potential treatment option for a number of autoimmune diseases.  

In this current study, Li et al. evaluated the therapeutic effects of umbilical cord MSC (uMSC) transplantation in patients with AS. This review summarizes the authors’ findings.

Specifically, Li et al.’s study evaluated 5 patients with AS after receiving intravenous transfusions of uMSCs.

After receiving an intravenous uMSC transfusion, the authors reported lower levels of inflammation, slowed progression of AS, and reduced levels of ESR, CRP, and other specific markers indicative of improved spinal functions and spinal movement in subjects with AS.  

Considering these findings, the authors conclude that uMSC transplantation is feasible and safe and induces limited side effects.

The authors of this study also highlight a number of limitations, including the low number of patients, limited statistical analysis, and lack of a control group that did not receive an infusion.

In light of these results, Li et al. call for future studies using a larger cohort of patients with AS to enable the systematic evaluation of uMSC in treating symptoms of AS.

Source: “Infusion of umbilical cord mesenchymal stem cells alleviates … – NCBI.” 27 Jun. 2017, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5526206/

Wharton’s Jelly Mesenchymal Stem Cells and Their Immunomodulatory Potential

Wharton’s Jelly Mesenchymal Stem Cells and Their Immunomodulatory Potential

Mesenchymal stem/stromal cells (MSCs) continue to be viewed as a source of cell therapy applications due to their immunomodulatory and anti-inflammatory effects and because of their ability to stimulate angiogenesis. In MSCs, these benefits are mainly attributed to the secretion of factors.  

Despite MSCs’ known and favorable proliferation levels, multipotency, and immune response regulation, there are other important variables that should be considered when developing cell therapy applications, including the source of MSCs.

Considering that MSCs collected from different tissues can form heterogeneous cellular populations and manifest tissue-specific functional differences, the source of MSCs should be of primary consideration when developing new therapeutic approaches. 

In this review, Paladino et al. present a review of recent research related to the therapeutic application of Wharton’s jelly MSC (WJ-MSC) harvested from umbilical cords and how these cells affect immune responses in comparison with other sources of MSCs.

Bone marrow-derived stem cells BM-MSCs have long been considered the favored source of MSCs and are the most used source of MSCs in clinical research. However, BM-MSCs have a history of showing mixed results and are not always recommended for use due to the invasive and painful process used to obtain the MSCs.

While other alternative sources, including adipose tissue, dental pulp, and menstrual blood, are available, WJ-MSCs are considered an easily accessible source of MSCs that are comparable to BM-MSC and have suffered less environmental interference and demonstrate higher proliferative capacity than other sources. 

One of the most promising benefits associated with MSC therapy is the potential to treat inflammatory or autoimmune diseases, including systemic lupus erythematosus, type 1 diabetes, and multiple sclerosis

Studies using WJ-MSC in this capacity have shown their robust immunomodulatory potential. Specifically, the authors of this review reference a number of studies using various sources of MSCs, including WJ-MSCs that demonstrate immunomodulatory potential similar to other MSC sources. Studies also demonstrate that WJ-MSC is a better suppressor of specific inflammatory factors, including mixed lymphocyte reaction, and possesses higher levels of IL-17A (a key mediator in the treatment of graft-versus-host disease) than MSCs collected from other sources.

Paladino et al. conclude that the available literature indicates that WJ-MSCs possess immunological features comparable to MSCs from other sources, including bone marrow-derived MSCs. The authors also call for further study to identify the best therapeutic indications for WJ-MSCs as a substitute for other sources of MSC, including BM-MSC.  


Source:  “The Immunomodulatory Potential of Wharton’s Jelly Mesenchymal ….” 11 Jun. 2019, https://www.hindawi.com/journals/sci/2019/3548917/.

Stroke Recovery Tips to Improve Faster

Stroke Recovery Tips to Improve Faster

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention states that as many as 795,000 people in the United States suffer a stroke each year. A stroke is a serious condition that can range in severity but that requires some patience throughout the recovery process. Learn more about what a stroke is and the recovery tips that can help you improve faster. 

What Is a Stroke?

You can think of a stroke as the brain’s equivalent of a heart attack. It occurs when a part of your brain doesn’t receive enough blood flow, either because you have a blocked artery or because you were bleeding into your brain. If something blocks blood flow to your brain, the organ doesn’t receive the oxygen it needs.

Anyone can have a stroke, including children. That said, you may have a higher risk than others if you are older than 65 or if you have high blood pressure, Type 2 diabetes, high cholesterol, or irregular heart rhythms. 

The warning signs of a stroke are:

  • Slurred speech
  • Sudden vision loss in one or both eyes
  • Loss of balance
  • Drooping smile
  • Muscle weakness on one side of the body
  • Confusion

Most strokes are ischemic, which means that blood clots have blocked the blood vessels to the brain. Plaque can also cause such a blockage. Hemorrhagic strokes occur when an artery in the brain breaks open or leaks blood into the brain. This blood puts a lot of pressure on brain cells.

Stroke Recovery Tips

If you’ve suffered a stroke, take the time to make the necessary changes to your lifestyle so that you can recover faster and perhaps even prevent future strokes. 

Rest When Your Body Asks for It

The stroke and the recovery process both put a lot of stress on your body, and you need to listen to what it tells you. If fatigue becomes overwhelming, allow yourself to rest. As you recover, your brain needs sleep. Sleep helps improve movement recovery after a stroke, making it as vital as your rehabilitation exercises. 

Good Nutrition Is Key

Your body needs all the right nutrients to heal more efficiently. This means sticking to a diet that is rich in vegetables, fruits, lean proteins, and whole grains. Some vitamins are also essential for stroke recovery, including vitamin D, which you get from the sun but also from egg yolks, fatty fish, and cheese. 

Vitamin B3, present in turkey, salmon, and chicken, is also crucial because it helps with neuroplasticity. Another excellent option is vitamin B12 because it can boost the function of nerve and brain cells. Eggs, poultry, and milk are also great sources. And If cholesterol is a concern, fish is a better option. 

An additional vitamin to consider adding to your diet is vitamin C. You can find it in citrus fruits, as well as broccoli and bell peppers. 

If you have dietary restrictions, consult your doctor about whether taking vitamin supplements is a good option for you. As you recover from a stroke, avoid alcohol and an excess amount of sugary foods and drinks, as well as foods rich in saturated fat. 

Use the Affected Side of Your Body

Your brain focuses on efficiency. If you don’t use an affected limb or entire side of your body, your brain forgets how. For instance, if you spend days not using your right hand, it will assume it’s not an important part of the body and de-prioritize it. 

As you recover, all movement is important. Even if you don’t fully control the limb or if you experience paralysis after the stroke, you can help by moving that part of your body with your hands. 

Schedule Regular Visits to Your Doctor

Your doctor is one of your most powerful allies as you start healing from a stroke. They will be able to guide you through all of the stages of your recovery, offering advice and reassurance. They have experience treating strokes and can give you the right perspective on how your recovery is going. Speaking often and honestly with them is key. 

Don’t Get Discouraged

Progress after a stroke tends to be slow, which can be discouraging. You may not see the kinds of huge improvements you may have expected, but that doesn’t mean that you aren’t improving at all. 

One of the toughest moments in the stroke recovery process is the “plateau” that occurs after about three months. You may notice that recovery is slowing down. It doesn’t have to stop, however, if you continue with your rehabilitation programs. 

To rewire itself, your brain needs constant stimulation. Speak with your doctor about finding the right therapies to perform at home so that you can continue making progress even after months after experiencing the stroke. 

Communicate What You Feel

Another important aspect of recovering from a stroke is healing emotionally. Going through a serious issue like a stroke leaves you feeling vulnerable or like you’re alone with your worries. 

Communicate with your loved ones and let them know what you’re feeling. If that’s not an option, reach out to support groups. Support groups allow you to meet others who have gone through similar situations and who have a good understanding of the challenges you face. For some people, turning to a therapist can be helpful, too. 

Stay Active

Physical activity, even simply walking around a room, helps minimize high blood pressure. This means it can also assist in preventing future strokes. Exercise additionally boosts your mood by releasing endorphins. 

Ask your doctor what exercise options are suitable for your needs. Never begin a regimen without the recommendation of your doctor. 

Managing Life After a Stroke

Lingering stroke symptoms can be frustrating. They may leave you thinking that there’s nothing you can really do about them. That’s not necessarily true. Lately, the field of regenerative medicine has been turning to stem cell therapy options to help people manage better after a stroke. 

Regenerative medicine, also known as stem cell therapy, has the potential to replace damaged brain cells and restore some lost functions for post-stroke patients. MSCs (Mesenchymal Stem Cells) can potentially help post-stroke by reducing inflammation, promoting neuroprotection, and stimulating tissue repair in the damaged brain.

As with every treatment you’re considering, speak with your doctor to find out whether it might be a good choice for your needs. 

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