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Saturday, April 19, 2008

Stem Cell Treatment Frequently Asked Questions

What is stem cell therapy?

Stem cell therapy is the use of adult stem cells to treat certain diseases. The stem cells are derived from the patient's own blood, bone marrow and/or fat.

In general terms, stem cells are progenitor cells that lead to the creation of new cells. They are regenerative in their function; they are regenerative cells.

What conditions are being treated by stem cell therapy?

We arrange for treatment for patients with conditions for which traditional treatment offers less than optimal options. Those conditions include Type 2 diabetes, no-hope heart failure, Multiple sclerosis, Cerebral palsy, Spinal cord injuries, Osteoarthritis and degenerative joint disease, and Post Stroke syndrome.

How many treatments are given?

Typically, four to six treatments are given. If more are needed, the doctors will address your needs at your first appointment. Treatments are given over a period of 7 days to 12 days, depending on the patient's condition and the doctor's recommendation for the particular individual.

What can you expect when you arrive at for treatment?

Upon arriving, you'll be given a physical examination by the doctor, who will also review your medical records once again. Your doctor may order additional testing, such as blood tests or radiological testing. Either the following day or two days later, at a local private hospital arranged by your physician stem cells will be harvested from your blood, bone marrow, or fat. Your stem cells will be administered to you by your doctor either by vein or artery depending on you condition and his medical decision. You will be monitored by your medical team for 2 to 24 hours after the infusion.

How long does a patient need to be at the clinic?

Between 10 to 21 days, depending upon the condition of the individual patient.

Can other treatments be taken at the same time?

Typically, a doctor will review what other treatments and medication the patient is already taking. Any further medical decision about what should be included or deleted from the patient's regimen during the stem cell treatment will therefore be made on an individual basis. However, there are not any known contraindications for other therapies during stem cell treatment.

Are there any known side effects to the therapy?

Doctors who have treated patients have not reported any side effects other than pain at the injection site. There could be other theoretical side effects from your treatment. Your physician will go over any potential side effects with you.

How long does it take to get an appointment?

The doctor will review the patient's medical records. It will then take 2 to 3 days to review the records and get back to the patient, to go over treatment options. Then the patient is scheduled for the next earliest available appointment. The process of scheduling takes 2 to 3 weeks, from the time of the initial contact to the date of the first appointment.

What about the ethical issues involved with stem cell therapy?

According to several religious denominations, adult stem cells are not encumbered by any ethical or moral dilemmas. Those ethical issues which apply to fetal and embryonic stem cells do not apply to adult stem cells. Both the Catholic Church and the Southern Baptist Church have issued papers which actually encourage research and the use of adult stem cells in the treatment of human disease, as an ethically acceptable alternative to the use of the ethically challenged fetal and embryonic stem cells.

Is a special diet required?

No.

Are any nutritional supplements or medication taken along with stem cell treatment?

Your treating physician may prescribe specific nutritional supplements that may enhance the potential benefits of the stem cell therapy. Such prescriptions will be made on an individual basis, depending on each patient's particular evaluation.

Does drinking or smoking effect therapy?

Alcohol consumption and cigarette smoking can both be detrimental to new progenitor stem cells. It is highly advisable that people do not smoke or drink during their treatment.

How does one apply to become a patient?

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