Stem Cell Details

So just what is the process all about?  After arrival at the clinic the nurses do their best to quickly get a urine specimen (not easy since we are all fasting) but seems most of our kids were successful in giving one.  Then they draw blood – and in event he toughest cases they did great.  After the that the physicians – generally 2-4 of them examine the patients.  Once they have their history, physical and lab back they determine whether stem cells are appropriate and which combination of cells would be best.

Stem cells from this point of view are from one of three main types also known as germ layers: 1) ectoderm, 2) mesoderm, or 3) endoderm.  In autism, the patients generally get all three stem types but the concentration may vary from patient to patient. the rationale is related to the need for brain, gut and immune healing.  The graphic below can help to guide you through the cell types.

image

And to further help you see this process in stem cell development see this graphic.

image

One of the philosophies expressed by Prof Karpenko goes like this: stem cells from designer laboratory creations and embryonic cells created by artificial fertilization have no history of regulated function as healthy human cells.  By contrast, fetal derived stem cells have been taught by the system how they should behave. This just means they have been given their regulatory instructions on how to act like a team player.  He believes this is important and I tend to agree with him on this. 

Immediate effects of stem cell transplantation

The doctors at the clinic informed me we would most likely see immediate effects which could last up to 10 days.  These effects are thought to foreshadow future more permanent changes to come. This is an intriguing observation.  My take is that these effects are largely mediated by cell signaling chemicals in the suspension of the stem cells – rather than by the direct action of stem cells.  This would be especially true for the brain effects. 

I was able to observe an immediate decrease in self-stimulation and hyperactivity in my step-son with his treatments.  It was so profound that on the day we were supposed to get the second application (and it is nearly always a 2 day process separated by a day between) he actually asked to go to the clinic to see the doctors to get his shot. The physicians at EmCell claim they see this routinely where the children act much differently within 2 days.  As hard as that is to accept, I was able to observe it first hand. Another immediate effect is improved appetite and energy.  Also observed within this first few days in improved sensory integration and functioning – especially for touch and auditory dysfunctions.  Exactly how this happens so fast is hard to understand but it may have a lot to do with anti-inflammatory effects or other cell mediators. 

In my own case, I noted the ability to walk all over Kiev with out any knee pain or swelling.  My right knee has had 11 operations secondary to football and snow skiing injuries. Normally it would swell significantly and also be very uncomfortable. It generally wake me up a few times at night with pain (I have had little to no knee pain since the procedure).  I also observed a remarkable increase in exercise tolerance – and I was able to climb the 100 or so steps to the top of the hill where the giant “Motherland”: statue oversees the city of Kiev without any significant shortness of breath. These effects are interesting, but the clinicians at EmCell feel the main effects related to the transplant take place after 6 weeks.

I will keep you posted.

Ketotifen: TNF alpha > More Than Allergy: Important to Heart Disease, Autism, Alzheimer’s and more…

We know that ketotifen helps to stabilize mast cells.  So do a variety if natural substances like curcumin. But there seems to be times a medication is required. When it is – ketotifen may be a good choice.  Look at what happens when a mast cell is triggered – a huge warehouse of immune chemistry if unloaded.

image

Graphic Credit: Guo-Ping Shi, DSc (http://www.abcam.com/index.html?pageconfig=resource&rid=12011&pid=10694)

From a mother of a child with autism: “The pollen became quite high here in the South again on Friday, and it really showed in his behavior – terrible upset and aggression at school. I began using the drops twice a day beginning yesterday, and it really made a positive difference for him.  Despite a 3300 pollen count today, his behavior has been good. Ketotifen is the first antihistamine to which my son has not developed an adverse reaction and which also seems to be effective for him — a double win!”

I had recommended she use the OTC Ketotifen eye drops in his nose.  This is not always easy in allergy but if you can pull it off it is frequently a WOW – just like this mom tells us.

That complicated graphic explains why – at least in part. 

image

image

This interesting article from the cardiovascular research arena, shows how remarkably ketotifen protects the heart by suppressing the release of TNF-alpha.

That is exactly the effect we may need in the brain of children with ASD, grandparents with Alzheimer’s and anyone during a heart attack.  Recognizing when TNF alpha is not defending, but instead harming us – will be a critical part of progressive medical care.

Don’t Go Nuclear: Protecting Yourself From Radiation Sickness (Lessons from Nature)

The risks currently posed by the Japanese reactor crises are relatively small here in the US.  However in Japan they are serious.  But Japan’s problems will slowly spread to the rest of the World.

For years I have been studying cell defense mechanisms.  Ionizing radiation (the kind emitting from the reactors in Japan) , much like oxidative stress, damages all aspects of cell biochemistry. Scientists have discovered several species that are incredibly resistant to ionizing radiation.  In the old test blasts in the US Southwest desert, huge amounts of radiation had little to no effect on cockroaches. In the laboratory we can zap a funny sounding bacteria, Deinococcus radiodurans (which roughly translates as: I am one tough bug when it comes to radiation), with huge doses of radiation and it survives and repairs all the damage easily (Microbiol Mol Biol Rev. 2011 Mar;75(1):133-91.). So does another tough bacteria, Kineococcus radiotolerans (which translates as: I can suck up huge doses of radiation – PLoS One. 2010 Aug 26;5(8):e12427.)

Deinococcus radiodurans — the consummate survivor

image

Nature Reviews Microbiology 3, 882-892 (November 2005

So what lessons can we learn from radiation resistant microbes and cockroaches?  First, if we keep playing with radioactive in this way we will likely cede the World to their progeny rather than our own.  But more importantly, the lesson they are teaching us is the same lesson we already have learned – at least in part – from oxidative stress in autism, Alzheimer’s, and cancer.

The tough microbe, D. radiodurans, has dual backup systems to repair oxidative stress. K. radiotolerans is a bit more unusual and it seems to suck in ionic cooper to act as a sink for free radicals created by radiation. And for all of us we know killing a cockroach is tough, but if you were tempted to nuke them – forget it.  They can endure living at the levels 131x what would immediately kill you. This is of course not new news. D. R. A. Wharton and Martha L. Wharton (1959), published simialr findings in:  (The Effect of Radiation on the Longevity of the Cockroach, Periplaneta americana, as Affected by Dose, Age, Sex and Food Intake. Radiation Research: October 1959, Vol. 11, No. 4, pp. 600-615).  Debbie Hadley summarizes the cockroach research this way: “Scientists measure radiation exposure in “rems,” an objective measure of the specific damage radiation would cause to human tissue. Humans can withstand 5 rems safely. Exposure to just 800 rems would be deadly for us. If you want to kill an American cockroach with radiation, it will take 67,500 rems to do the job. German cockroaches are even more impervious to radiation, requiring between 90,000 and 105,000 before you’ll see them on their backs.”

Cockroaches (presumably they need this in order to live where they live) can repair oxidative insult from both ionizing and oxidizing exposures extremely rapidly.

I know you can’t get potassium iodide now that your thinking about it – always the case in disasters. What can we do to try to catch up with roaches and bacteria in the nuclear defense race?

1) Antioxidants and HBOT: These are necessary back up and sacrificial scavengers to take the damage from radiation so the DNA can be spared.  HBOT induces (particularily higher HBOT pressures 2.0 ATA or higher) induces temporary oxidative stress rapidly followed by an increase in DNA production of Superoxide Dismutase and Catalase (key enzymes which deal with oxidative damage). This helps to defend your cells.

2) NAC (acetylcysteine): This is the best way to increase glutathione inside cells.  Glutathione is the MAIN cell defense against damage.

3) Probiotics: Probioitcs have been demonstrated to decrease the effects of radiation injury on the hut during cancer treatment.

4) Curcumin: As we know, curcumin is an amazing defender of cells from both inflammation and oxidation. (cell the post on it on an earlier blog). Getting it to the brain is challenging, but higher doses and lipid wrapped curcumin may be helpful.

5) Vitamin C: I have given IV Vitamin C to radiation patients and helped to spare them complications without keeping the cancer from being killed.  Even if that seems paradoxical it has worked will.  Vitamin C will act as a sacrificial antioxidant.

6) Chelation: The US Atomic Energy Commission controls ALL of the special chelators designed to chelate plutonium and uranium (and I doubt they have any intention of sharing it with us).  These chelators are different from the commonly used DMSA and DMPS and CaNa2-EDTA. The reason they need to be different is the plutonium and uranium atoms have different chemical properties from mercury and lead.  Our common chelators  aren’t supposed to work that well on the large radioactive atoms. Having said that, we routinely see significant: uranium, cesium, gadolinium on our IV challenge results.  Cesium in particular is very large in size and yet still seems to chelate with DMPS in particular. Cesium 137 is radioactive and results from nuclear fission. It is commonly detected in my patients from Eastern Europe and Russia after Chernobyl.  However, we are seeing increased amounts of cesium in the US as well and we know part of the Chernobyl fallout made it all the way around the Northern Hemisphere.

image

Nuclear Risks: How Much Danger?

I am going to take a diversion and talk about what you are all talking about – especially those of you on the West Coast – radiation from the fractured Japanese nuclear industry. This is a terrible tragedy and the people of Japan are suffering once again from mankind’s tampering with nuclear energy and power.

5 years ago I gave a lecture to the Doctors for Disaster Preparedness annual meeting in San Diego, CA. While in the US Air Force I had been in charge of environmental medicine and medical disaster preparedness at my base. The message was simple. We are all one disaster away from living in survival mode. This latest event reinforces that message.

clip_image002

At the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear plant a 1000 ton lead shield was blown off the reactor’s roof. A series of explosions and fires have crippled salvage operations aimed at preventing a full core melt down. Two other reactors locations are also damaged and at risk of melt-downs. It’s as bad as it gets.

Despite the obvious, Japanese officials are only reporting a 4 out of 7 class nuclear accident – really??? Ok, we aren’t buying that one. This is at least as bad as Chernobyl and far worse than Three Mile Island on the US East coast.

We can critique the lack of forethought that went into building reactors on the beach in a known earthquake – tsunami zone, and we will all agree this is craziness. But before we go pointing fingers, many of us need to be reminded the WORST nuclear disaster in US history took place a few miles from downtown Los Angeles. The Boeing-Rocketdyne (1959) accident at the nuclear testing facility in Simi Valley, California is thought by some to have leaked 240 times more than what leaked into the environment from Three Mile Island. The US government says NO radiation leaked from the meltdown of the plutonium reactor. Color me skeptical.

Some of you reading this may actually live in Simi Valley. Should you be doubly worried? First of all, no radiation is good. But the general readings from that area are not alarming – at least after more than 50 years from the event.

Now a historical perspective: US nuclear detonations over Hiroshima and Nagasaki (1945).

clip_image004

These horrific explosions killed over 200,000 people – although not all at once. Many died from radiation exposure and suffered from cancers and chronic health problems for years after the war. Radiation levels from these explosions had to be many times greater than what the Japanese or US West Coast are presently at risk for. That is not to minimize the risk or the awful crisis for people living anywhere near the reactors, but it helps gain some perspective on everyone’s risks.

Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear plant (2011).

clip_image006

Obviously this is bad. But it is way less than WWII.

My reasons for the historical reminder: 1) we deceive ourselves when we think we can contain or control radiation under all possible conditions, and 2) the distance the radiation has to travel around the globe will dilute its toxic effect and – at least at this time – there is no cloud of death coming to the Americas. Unfortunately the same is not true for the Japanese archipelago where serious exposure is likely. One bit of good news for Japan – the winds are carrying the radiation away from the population center of Japan.

clip_image007

(Special thanks to WUNDEGROUND for the graphic which shows the winds blowing radiation off the Japanese coast.)

Below is the most recent prediction of the wind track across the Pacific Ocean. It has moved significantly further south – centering on mid-California.

clip_image008

So what should you do? Be alert to changes. You do not need to evacuate the West Coast (that is not just my opinion – it is shared by nuclear experts). Do you need potassium iodide to protect your thyroid? Maybe.  At this time the dose concentrations from the reactors are not expected to be that ACUTELY significant.

However, here is my concern – the radiation is NOT a single dose or even two like the WWII exposures. Instead it will be a chronic low-level exposure. That is very hard to defend against without chelation or specific safeguards – carrying a dosimeter and measuring your cumulative dose.

If you are seriously concerned about exposure I suggest you get informed about personal radiation detection. I suggest, NukAlert — available from http://www.nukalert.com/

If things get more serious I will talk about specific protocols to detoxify radiation. I will be watching this as it evolves and post more as we know more.