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New Study Says Brain Damage Caused by Stroke May Heal with Stem Cells

New Study Says Brain Damage Caused by Stroke May Heal with Stem Cells

Researchers from the University of Georgia’s Regenerative Bioscience Center, published a study in the scientific journal Translational Stroke Research, which shows that the brain damage caused by a stroke may be healed by stem cells. This study used a substance they called AB126 generated from nervous system stem cells. The healing factors are contained in “exosomes” which are tiny vesicles inside stem cells which secrete proteins which help the healing process. This research is an animal study which is preliminary to the next step, human studies. Researcher Steven Stice says, “This is truly exciting evidence, because exosomes provide a stealth-like characteristic, invisible even to the body’s own defenses. When packaged with therapeutics, these treatments can actually change cell progression and improve functional recovery.”

After giving the AB126,  MRI scans of the brain were performed and they revealed a very large decrease in the amount of brain tissue which was damaged. A start up company called ArunaA Biomedical is preparing to launch of human study in 2019. Dr Strice explains, “Until now, we had very little evidence specific to neural exosome treatment and the ability to improve motor function. Just days after stroke, we saw better mobility, improved balance and measurable behavioral benefits in treated animal models.”



Mediterranean Diet Slows the Development of Frailty in the Elderly

Mediterranean Diet Slows the Development of Frailty in the Elderly

A new study published in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, provides more evidence that following what is called the Mediterranean diet may slow aging. Eating mostly plant-based foods  such as whole grains, legumes, nuts, and  fruits and vegetables, reduces the risk of frailty in older individuals keeping them healthier and more independent as they age.

Frailty Syndrome is a term which refers to older individuals who manifest decreased muscle strength, low energy, weight loss and associated problems like increased susceptibility to falls and fractures. This study ads credence to the notion that the diet may play an important role in the development of frailty, or its avoidance as one ages.

This research paper analyzed the  evidence available from many studies which have examined the possible health benefits of the Mediterranean diet. In total the analysis included nearly 5,800 people from a number of countries.

Researcher Kate Walters, PhD of University College London, in the UK, says, “We found the evidence was very consistent that older people who follow a Mediterranean diet had a lower risk of becoming frail. People who followed a Mediterranean diet the most were overall less than half as likely to become frail over a nearly four-year period compared with those who followed it the least.”

This study found  that the Mediterranean diet may help older individuals maintain muscle strength, activity, weight, and energy levels. Research colleague Dr. Gotaro Kojima ads, “Our study supports the growing body of evidence on the potential health benefits of a Mediterranean diet, in our case for potentially helping older people to stay well as they age.”

More and more research continues to show that diet, nutrition and lifestyle are key components for any anti- aging program.



Inflammation Promotes the Progression of Alzheimer’s Disease

Inflammation Promotes the Progression of Alzheimer’s Disease

 Advanced concepts regarding the development of Alzheimer’s disease include the notion that an inflammatory process underlies the progression of the disease.

Newly published research presented in the scientific journal Nature investigated the role of the brain’s immune response in the progression of abnormal protein accumulations in the brain. Prof. Michael Heneka, of the German Center for Neurodegenerative Diseases says that his study demonstrated the role of activated immune cells in the brain. These cells  called “microglia” promoted aggregation of the abnormal protein Abeta, a classic hallmark of Alzheimer’s disease, “…directly linking innate immune activation with the progression of pathology,” Dr. Heneka explains. “Deposition and spreading of Abeta pathology likely precede the appearance of clinical symptoms such as memory problems by decades. Therefore, a better understanding of these processes might be a key for novel therapeutic approaches. Such treatments would target Alzheimer’s at an early stage, before cognitive deficits manifest. Additionally, analysis of human brain material indicates at several levels that inflammation and Abeta pathology may interact in a similar fashion in humans. Together our findings suggest that brain inflammation is not just a bystander phenomenon, but a strong contributor to disease progression. Therefore, targeting this immune response will be a novel treatment modality for Alzheimer’s.”

The scourge of Alzheimer’s disease in the ever expanding elderly population needs more research and action to improve current treatment options. This study ads to our understanding of the promoters of this condition, which seems to require a number of different modalities – nutrition, exercise, stress reduction and other factors to be taken into account, to slow, halt or hopefully even reverse the course of this disease.


Study Shows How Green Tea Helps Combat Obesity and Dementia

Study Shows How Green Tea Helps Combat Obesity and Dementia

The latest thinking about dementia in the scientific community is that cognitive impairment can be seen as “Diabetes Type 3”, because an abnormal handling of glucose in the brain seems to be one of the underlying mechanisms which promotes dementia, just as impaired glucose regualton in the body is an essential component of the common disorder known as Diabetes Type 2.

A study published by the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology  shows that drinking green tea may help fight brain glucose dysregulation, obesity and memory impairment. The mechanism involved was studied in mice. It shows that the active ingredient in green tea, EGCG (epigallocatechin-3-gallate), alleviates the effects of a high-fat and high-fructose diet  known to promote cognitive impairment. Researcher Xuebo Liu, Ph.D.,of the  Northwest A&F University in Yangling, China says, “Green tea is the second most consumed beverage in the world after water, and is grown in at least 30 countries, “The ancient habit of drinking green tea may be a more acceptable alternative to medicine when it comes to combatting obesity, insulin resistance, and memory impairment.”

In this study groups of mice were fed differing diets for 16 weeks, and the effects of those given the active ingredient in green tea, ( EGCG ) were shown to score better on performance of tasks which measure their ability to complete remember and thus perform a task, navigating a maze.

There have been a number of research reports regarding green tea’s health benefits in the  past,  and with regard to this study Thoru Pederson, Ph.D., Editor-in-Chief of The FASEB Journal

says, “Many reports, anecdotal and to some extent research-based, are now greatly strengthened by this more penetrating study.”



Weight Loss Can Slow Knee Joint Degeneration

Weight Loss Can Slow Knee Joint  Degeneration
Obesity increases the risk of osteoarthritis. Being overweight places extra pressure on joints and cartilage, causing them to degenerate over time.

              According to a new study published online in the journal Radiology, overweight  people who lost a substantial amount of weight over a 48-month period showed significantly lower degeneration of their knee cartilage.

“This study’s lead author, Alexandra Gersing, M.D., of  the Department of Radiology at the University of California, San Francisco, explained, “We looked at the degeneration of all knee joint structures, such as menisci, articular cartilage and bone marrow.”

The research team investigated the possible influence of  weight loss on the progression of cartilage changes in the knee, that could be assessed by MRI studies. Data collected  from this study showed that over a 4 year study period, the 640 overweight patients who were a part of their study, were able to  reduce the progression of osteoarthritis of the knee with weight reduction. They were also able to show that greater weight reduction helped more than more modest weight loss. Patients were categorized into three groups: those who lost more than 10 percent of their body weight, those who lost five to 10 percent of their body weight, and a control group whose weight remained stable.

The results showed that patients with 5 percent weight loss had lower rates of cartilage degeneration, and also that in those with over 10 percent weight loss, cartilage degeneration was even slower.

“Dr. Gershing found that , “The most exciting finding of our research was that not only did we see slower degeneration in the articular cartilage, we saw that the menisci degenerated a lot slower in overweight and obese individuals who lost more than 5 percent of their body weight, and that the effects were strongest in overweight individuals and in individuals with substantial weight loss.”  It is the loss of cartilage and the damage to the meniscus of the knee and the bony damage to the joint that leads to the necessity of orthopedic interventions including not only steroid injections but knee replacement surgery. An exciting new field of Regenerative Medicine is growing in which natural ways to heel the joints include PRP and Stem Cell Therapy.

For more information on these treatments offered by Dr. Sobo see these links.

PRP for Knees, Other Joints, Tendons


Injection of Stem Cells for Arthritis of the Knee Shows Benefit in 2 Year Follow-up Study

Injection of  Stem Cells for Arthritis of the Knee Shows Benefit in 2 Year Follow-up Study

In patients with osteoarthritis of joints, the injection of mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) into the affected joint is becoming increasingly recognized as a safe and effective treatment. Stem cell therapies are becoming more widespread due to their effectiveness, as well as the lack of side effects or complications seen  with properly done stem cell treatments. Stem cell therapy has been shown to improve not only the symptoms of arthritis, but it also can improve and grow cartilage. Loss of cartilage within the joint is a characteristic of osteoarthritis.  A newly published study in this field was done at the Department of Orthopedic Surgery at the  National University College of Medicine, in  Seoul, South Korea . Their study showed showed that stem cell treatment of osteoarthritis of the knee provides positive effects that were relatively long lasting, measured at the 2 year mark in this study .

Eighteen patients with Osteoarthritis of the knee were enrolled in the study, with an average age of 61.8 years, with all participants being between 52 and 72 years old.

To assess the effects of the stem cell treatment, the researchers used the well recognized WOMAC scale, which evaluates the following; 1- pain 2- stiffness and 3- difficulty performing daily activities. They also used the  KOOS score (Knee injury and Osteoarthritis Outcome). Physical changes were assessed  using an MRI study to measure  the size and depth of the cartilage defect,  and cartilage volume, which is reduced in knee osteoarthritis. Improvements were seen both in the symptoms-pain , stiffness, and physical activity limitations, as well as in healing and improvement in the cartilage defects associated with the condition.  This study also documented that there were no treatment related side effects reported by any of the patients in the study. The conclusion of their study supports the use of stem cell therapy for osteoarthritis of the joints.

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