In a remarkable medical feat, neurologist Dr. Naeem Sadiq has successfully treated a patient suffering from Parkinson's disease (PD) for the last 12 years by using stem cell therapy. 59 years old Ashok Kumar, who couldn't talk, walk, sit or eat due to the tremors and rigidity is now doing all these activities without any support, much to the astonishment of his family. Just two doses of stem cell transplant in a span of four months helped Kumar to recover.
"I used to consume almost 30 pills for managing my condition. But those medications were not helping me much. Moreover, they also had side-effects. I could feel my body stiffening. For the last two years, I was confined to bed and had lost all hope of recovery," says Mr. Kumar.
Whilst the conventional treatment failed to improve Mr. Kumar's condition, stem cell therapy has shown miraculous results. His speech, writing ability, posture and body balance have improved drastically just after two sessions of stem cell transplant, and he is no longer taking any medications.
Dr. Sadiq informs that stem cells are like mother cells which originate from the developing embryo and differentiate into different types of cells, for example - heart muscle, liver, brain, skin, bone etc.
"In Mr. Kumar's case, stem cells were collected from his own bone marrow and were isolated under cGMP conditions. After quality analysis in the laboratory, the isolated mother cells were transplanted into the damaged central nervous system. The stem cells migrated to the affected area of the brain, and transformed themselves into healthy tissue, thereby, replacing the damaged cells," explains Dr. Sadiq, Director, Plexus Neuro and Stem Cell Research Centre (PNSRC), Bengaluru.
"Previously, medications and certain surgical procedures were the only treatments available for parkinsonism. Whilst medications in the long-term lack effectiveness and may cause side-effects, surgery is not always feasible. Lately, stem cell therapy has turned out to be a boon for patients with PD," adds Dr. Sadiq.
After the stem cell transplant, the patient is discharged the next day. Regular follow-ups are essential and depending upon the severity of disease, a patient may need subsequent doses of stem cell transplants. The doses and the route of administration of stem cells varies from patient to patient. The improvement pattern may also differ for every patient according to the patient's overall health status and duration of disease. PTI