Within one month, paraplegic patient experiences movement
GULF SHORES, Ala., Jan 8, 2013 /PRNewswire/ – In 2007, an ATV accident left military veteran Scott Williams with a spinal cord injury that paralyzed him from the upper chest down. In the summer of 2012, after undergoing an autologous adipose-derived stem cell transplant into his spine at the Precision StemCell (http://www.precisionstemcell.com) facility in Gulf Shores, Williams began noticing increased sensation in his left leg and the ability to slightly move both feet.
"Within one month, I was able to move my feet some, and I haven't done that in over five years," Williams stated. "I feel that this is amazing progress." Williams received the "Selegeline reprogramed adipose derived stem cells" treatment that Precision StemCell has been giving to patients suffering from amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), also known as Lou Gehrig's disease. Seventy-five percent of those ALS patients have experienced improvements in moving, breathing and speech.
Dr. Jason R. Williams, head of Precision StemCell and a board certified radiologist with extensive training in image guided procedures, performed the procedure. "I believe that Mr. Williams is the first patient to ever have this procedure for spinal cord injury using this specific technique," stated Dr. Williams. "This treatment is a good initial step, but we need to make even further advances."
The procedure involves the harvesting of fat via a minimally invasive liposuction. Stem cells are separated from the fat and administered under image guidance into the spine. For three to five days after the procedure, Dr. Williams places the patient on selegeline that, as laboratory research has shown, causes stem cells to reprogram, converting them into neural stem cells.
Scott Williams heard of the procedure from a friend of Frank Orgel, a former NFL football player and college coach, who was the first patient be treated with the technique. Orgel was diagnosed with ALS eight years ago and now, after treatment, continues to see improvement. Previously, his motor control had declined to the point that he could not move his left arm or leg, walk or even stand on his own. The therapy has allowed Orgel to stand without assistance, and he continues to work to with a physical therapist to regain the ability to walk. Another patient, Dexter Johnson, previously walked with a cane. After treatment, Johnson has been able to walk without his cane for the majority of the time and he has been able to walk at a much faster pace.
The Precision StemCell center with advanced imaging techniques, which include an Open 3T MRI, a low-dose 64-Slice CT Scanner, ultrasound, and real time x-ray, also known as fluoroscopy. The facility has advanced stem cell harvesting and processing with image guided stem cell injections. Dr. Williams performs magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), computed tomography (CT), ultrasound and fluoroscopy-guided stem cell injections for joint and orthopedic conditions.
In addition to their current work on advanced stem cell harvesting and processing with image guided stem cell injections, Precision StemCell is planning to begin animal research evaluating the potential of even more advanced techniques with the addition of genetically modified stem cells. "We had believed that our therapy techniques could help people with other neural-related conditions such as spinal cord injuries," said Dr. Williams. "Our work with Scott Williams proved this to be true and we are eager to see if we will be able to help patients suffering from Multiple Sclerosis (MS) and Parkinson's disease. Although it is relatively new, this technique has shown great promise so far and we are always looking forward."
About Precision StemCell
Located in Gulf Shores, Alabama, Precision StemCell conducts stem cell procedures using advanced imaging techniques, which include an Open 3T MRI, a low-dose 64-Slice CT scanner, ultrasound, and real time x-ray (fluoroscopy). Headed by Jason Williams, MD, a board-certified radiologist with extensive training in image-guided procedures, the facility performs advanced stem cell harvesting and processing with image-guided stem cell injections.