BOGOTA, Colombia, Aug. 29, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Precision StemCell (www.precisionstemcell.com), an outpatient treatment facility in Colombia, has successfully performed a breakthrough stem cell procedure that may soon improve the lives of everyone with ALS, or Lou Gehrig's disease. The new procedure consists of an advanced, image-guided injection of umbilical cord matrix stem cells into the patient's nerve roots at the point where they exit the spinal cord.
"At our center in Colombia, we have been able to test far more advanced procedures than in the US," explained Dr. Jason Williams, a board-certified radiologist and founder of Precision StemCell. "Specifically, we have obtained stem cells from the umbilical cord matrix of donors; these cells share many of the properties of embryonic stem cells, while not raising any ethical questions. After culturing, we have tens of millions of cells to work with, which are then carefully injected into the patient's nerve roots at the base of the spine. We use image guidance to precisely locate the injected stem cells."
Williams continued: "Young, healthy stem cells have enormous restorative potential that we're only beginning to realize. We know, for example, that umbilical cord matrix stem cells produce immune system-boosting substances and growth factors that slow down ALS. The next steps will involve refining the process even further to build on our current positive results. Stem cells almost certainly hold the key to reversing this tragic condition."
American citizen Steve Ladner traveled to Precision's clinic in Colombia to undergo this new treatment. Improvements were notable only a few weeks after the procedure. "I have more strength and more muscle control than I had before the stem cell injection," remarked Ladner. "My voice is stronger and my energy level is much higher; I even rode horses and bikes, things I couldn't have imagined doing before visiting Precision StemCell. This wasn't the first stem cell therapy I had tried, but it's been by far the most effective at easing my symptoms."
Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a nearly always fatal disease affecting the motor neurons; symptoms include weakness, muscle loss, twitches and spasms, and eventually difficulty swallowing and breathing. The exact cause of the disease is still unknown, though genetic abnormalities do account for some instances. Treatment is aimed at slowing the progress of the disease and making the patient more comfortable. Precision StemCell is confident that its stem cell therapies represent a new frontier in ALS research and may one day even lead to a cure.
"We have learned that the stem cells of people with ALS are not as viable as those from a healthy person, meaning they do not grow well, if at all. Donor cells have the potential to create much better outcomes, but unfortunately the culturing and altering of stem cells is not allowed in the US, which is why Dr. Williams opened the clinic in Colombia," explained Precision StemCell's Dr. Leonardo Gonzalez. "In addition to this latest treatment option, we're continually exploring other techniques, including new applications for gene therapy. Dr. Williams and I believe we are on the verge of making a great leap forward in the treatment of ALS and similar neurodegenerative diseases."
Beyond ALS, Precision StemCell has expertise treating a whole host of neurodegenerative and autoimmune conditions, including multiple sclerosis and Parkinson's.
About Precision StemCell
Precision is an image guided surgical center, which uses advanced image guidance to administer stem cells for the treatment of various diseases and injuries. Precision is located in Bogota, Colombia. Drs. Jason Williams and Leonardo Gonzalez are the lead physicians.
Dr. Leonardo Gonzalez
Colombia: 57 (311) 231-3684
Toll Free: 877-755-7342
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SOURCE Precision StemCell