Alzheimer’s Disease is a devastating illness that can change the people we love and our relationships with them forever. For decades, this has been seen as an incurable condition with minimal treatment options. Traditionally, the best option for people diagnosed with Alzheimer’s has been adjusting to the symptoms and lifestyle changes needed as best as possible.
Fortunately, ongoing progress in our understanding of how the brain ages, combined with advancements in medical science, has led to exciting developments in the treatment of Alzheimer’s Disease. Stem Cell therapy is one of the most promising of these avenues.
This guide can help you learn more about Alzheimer’s Disease and the specific benefits of stem cell therapy for this condition.
What is Alzheimer’s Disease?
Alzheimer’s Disease is the most common cause of dementia in the United States. In fact, more than 6 million Americans, most over the age of 65, have been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s-related dementia.
The cause of this debilitating condition is unknown. Recent research has shown the build up of proteins called amyloid in the brain is strongly associated with Alzheimer’s Disease.
Alzheimer’s destroys memory and cognition and is the seventh leading cause of death in this country. New treatments targeting this protein are being developed but are not yet available.
Although we are still learning, early results of stem cell therapy for Alzheimer’s Disease are encouraging. Innovations Medical offers stem cell therapy for patients with Alzheimer’s disease, dementia, and other cognitive conditions.
What are the Symptoms of Alzheimer’s Disease?
Memory loss is one of the best-known and recognizable signs of Alzheimer’s disease. This includes a failure to remember important dates or life events, the need to depend on notes and other memory aids, and the inability to remember recently learned information.
Alzheimer’s disease patients frequently misplace items and may accuse others of stealing when they cannot find things.
Other signs of Alzheimer’s Disease include:
- Difficulty solving problems, working with numbers, or following instructions
- Lack of focus and difficulty in completing tasks
- Forgetting the time, including time of day and year
- Focusing on the present and forgetting where they are and how they got there
- Difficulty with conversations, including forgetting or repeating parts of conversations
- Forgetting the names of common objects
- Mood swings
- Problems with judgment
- Withdrawal from activities and social gatherings
A proactive approach to the diagnosis and treatment of Alzheimer’s is key. By identifying signs and seeing a doctor early, you can work to achieve the best possible outcome.
What Causes Alzheimer’s Disease?
The exact cause is unknown. Some people have a genetic tendency toward early Alzheimer’s Disease. These people can start seeing symptoms in their early 50s. There is also evidence linking brain injury earlier in life to Alzheimer’s Disease later on. Disease of the blood vessels of the brain with small or micro strokes may also be connected.
Many with Alzheimer’s Disease appear to have multiple or mixed causes. The buildup of a protein called amyloid in the brain is strongly associated with Alzheimer’s Disease. Currently, the tests available for early detection of amyloid in the brain are too expensive for widespread use. More affordable tests are being developed.
How Can Stem Cells Help Alzheimer’s Disease
The amyloid build-up described above is toxic to brain cells and results in inflammation. Stem cell therapy can help reduce this inflammation of the brain. Stem cells also have powerful immunomodulatory properties, which means they can reset the immune system to working normally once again. These factors may help slow the progression and even reverse the effects of the disease in some people.
Stem cells from fat have helped some patients with Alzheimer’s disease. Family members in particular notice the improvement in memory and daily function. It is often the family that notices it is time to repeat a stem cell deployment. Some evidence shows that early treatment procedures may be more effective, but this is not certain at this time.
Benefits of Stem Cell Therapy for Alzheimer’s Disease and Overall Brain Health
Studies of stem cell therapy for Alzheimer’s point to the following potential benefits:
- Promotes survival of brain cells and regeneration of damaged neurons
- Improves memory and cognitive function
- Slows down the progression of Alzheimer’s disease
Results can vary on a case by case basis, and researchers are still conducting studies and collecting and analyzing results.
Good Candidates for Stem Cell Therapy for Alzheimer’s Disease
Most Alzheimer’s patients who are medically stable enough to come into the office are potential candidates for stem cell therapy. We believe that “the earlier, the better” in Alzheimer’s patients. Active cancer or major infection would prevent an Alzheimer’s patient from having stem cell therapy. Anticoagulants (blood thinners) are better to stop for two to four days around the procedure. However, blood thinners often can be used with caution. Most other medications are safe for the
Cost of Stem Cell Treatments
The cost of the initial treatment ranges from $5,000 to $10,000. The range in cost is dependent on the complexity of delivering the cells back to you. For example, spine conditions require multiple physicians to deliver the cells back to your body and this requires an increase in cost as multiple doctors are involved in the procedure. For many people the initial treatment procedure is all that is needed; however, for some conditions, subsequent treatments may be required and these are done at a reduced fee.
Contact Innovations Medical to Learn About Alzheimer’s Stem Cell Therapy
If you or a loved one is seeking help for Alzheimer’s Disease, Innovations Medical is here for you. Our skilled professionals help you decide which treatment is best for you – keeping you informed and confident in the next steps. We’ve been helping our patients feel their best while improving their quality of life since 2005, and even our most advanced procedures are often minimally invasive.