Ataxia

ATAXIA

Ataxia is the least common type of the cerebral palsy disease, affecting around 5 to 10% of all people with CP. Ataxia means without coordination and is due to lack of muscle coordination. This lack of coordination further affects walking, speech, eye movements, ability to speak, picking of objects, the ability to swallow and other voluntary movements. As parts of the nervous system controlling movement and balance are affected, people often have a specific unbalanced way of walking.

There are many different types of ataxia, which can be divided into three broad categories:

  • Hereditary ataxia
    Caused by faulty genes inherited from the parents and it develops slowly over the years. Of this type, most common is Friedreich's ataxia. According to the available data, there are over 40 known forms of inherited ataxia.
  • Acquired ataxia
    This type develops due to any problem that may damage the brain or nervous system.
  • Idiopathic late onset cerebellar ataxia (ILOCA)
    where the brain is progressively damaged over time for reasons that are unclear.

Ataxia is caused by a dysfunction of the Cerebellum. The cerebellum is a region of the brain involved in the assimilation of sensory perception, coordination, and motor control.

Symptoms

Symptoms of Ataxia depend on the different type of the condition.  In the initial phase, a patient may face poor limb coordination, slurred and slow speech, but also may have difficulties to control volume, rhythm, and pitch of his speech.

Advanced stage of ataxia results in difficulty of swallowing (at times choking or coughing), facial expressions become less apparent, tremors, and Nystagmus, a vision condition in which the eyes make repetitive, uncontrolled movements.

Treatment

Ataxia is considered to be not curable, but there are many ways to improve the quality of life and ease symptoms. The use of adaptive devices, to treat coordination and improve balance problems can help patients to attain certain independence. Those devices may include, crutches, walkers, a wheelchair or just only a cane. Physical therapy may support stiffness, tremor or muscle weakness, while other symptoms like sleep disorders, depression expressed by frustration, sadness, and anger are treated with medications and counseling.

Some patients may be sensitive to gluten, and a gluten-free diet may improve their condition while others may have low levels of Vitamin E which require supplements. Sometimes gamma-globulin injections are prescribed to boost the immune systems, and there are also drugs available for muscle spasms and uncontrollable eye movements.

Cellular Treatments

We are using stem cells in a patient-funded investigational medical procedure which has helped in individual cases to improve the symptoms of ataxia. There is so far, no known cure for Ataxia, which also applies for stem cell treatments, as they also cannot change the underlying cause of the cell death, but stem cells may support to slow the disease’s progression and provide improvements in overall health and stability in a most natural way possible.

Stem cells are revitalization damaged cells, which in turn can help slow the disease’s progression and offer relief to the patient’s symptoms.

CellularStem Treatment Protocol

In our India partner clinics, we are usually treating Ataxia patients with allogeneic, expanded umbilical cord tissue Mesenchymal stem cells in a combination of four Intravenous (IV) injection and two Lumbar Puncture (LP) Injections with a dose of 1 million cells/kg body weight. In our partner clinics in Europe and the US, we are using only autologous (own) stem cells harvested from adipose tissues or bone marrow.

Allogeneic Stem Cells from Umbilical Cord

Although we are, due to regulatory reasons, in most western countries performing only autologous stem cell treatment, we are often asked: "What are the advantages of treating patients with allogeneic human umbilical cord tissue (HUCT)-derived mesenchymal stem cells?" Well, besides being expanded, i.e., they are available in much larger quantities to treat a condition the following had been accepted scientifically:

  • Allogeneic stem cells can be injected multiple times over the course of days in uniform dosages that contain high cell counts.
  • Stem cells with immune modulating capacity, the highest anti-inflammatory activity and ability to stimulate regeneration can be selected from allogeneic stem cells.
  • HUCT mesenchymal stem cells are confirmed as being immune system privileged; that means cell rejection is not a problem and Human Leukocyte Antigen (HLA) matching is not necessary.
  • Umbilical cord tissue provides an abundant source of mesenchymal stem cells.
  • There is no need to collect stem cells through somewhat more invasive procedures such as bone marrow or liposuction collection.

There is growing evidence, showing that mesenchymal stem cells from umbilical cords are more potent than cells obtained from other sources such as fat or bone marrow.

After reviewing the medical history and condition of an individual, we are suggesting a treatment method we believe might be most suited for improving the status of a patient and in accordance of the country regulation where the treatment will be performed.

In animal studies and a few human case reports, cell-based therapies have shown encouraging results. Most cellular research recently concentrated on the use of mesenchymal stem cells.

Treatment costs

Please note that treatment costs are depending on the medical history and condition. For further details we suggest to please complete our Patient Application Form, - see under contact - stipulating your condition and treatment request, and send it to our Delhi or Europe office. We actively strive to reply to any request either immediate or latest within two working days with details.

Quality of Stem Cells

Licensed physicians administer the stem cells intravenously (IV) and Lumbar Puncture (LP) Injections. Stem cells may also be applied in certain circumstances, intrathecally and intramuscularly. Stem cells used are certified by the lab providing the cells to our partner clinics.

Medical Procedure Treatment

As stem cell treatments are personalized treatments, results from one patient cannot be transferred to another, although we have many anecdotal cases where the condition of patients had been improved considerately. Often patients experience:

  • Increased mobility
  • Better balance and coordination
  • Improved fine and gross motor skills
  • Improved speech and cognition

Overall, a better quality of life and a significantly slower disease progression in patients with progressive Ataxias was seen in most patients treated. These improvements vary however from patients to patients and cannot be guaranteed.

Side effects and Follow up

We comprehend that patients may have concerns about adverse reactions to the stem cell transplants. There are different types of stem cells each with their specific purpose. The possibility of side effects from stem cell therapy may vary from patient to patient and depends upon the kind of procedures a patient is undergoing. Our patients experienced a few side effects which are consistent with expected reactions for routine IV and LP, and less than four percent of patients treated with our protocol experienced any of these mild symptoms.

  • Fever
  • Headache
  • Leg Pain
  • Diarrhoea
  • Vomiting
  • Allergic Reactions

With adequate medical treatment, these symptoms did last a few days only. No serious side effects had been reported with our treatments.

Our stem cell treatment does not end with the procedure in our partner clinics. We care about how you are doing after you return home. So, we will monitor your post-treatment progress on a regular basis. The proper follow-up, i.e., 1, 3, 6, 12, 24 months, also helps us evaluate the effectiveness of our treatments and improve our protocols based on observed outcomes even further.

Clinical Trials, Studies & General Information

According to ClinicalTrials.gov statistic, in August 2017 there had been 170 trials for Ataxia registered. 10 studies mentioned stem cell treatment studies.

https://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/results?cond=Ataxia&term=with+stem+cells&cntry1=&state1=&Search=Search

ATAXIA  - Stem Cell Research & Medical Publication

Schmahmann JD (2004).

“Disorders of the cerebellum: ataxia, dysmetria of thought, and the cerebellar cognitive affective syndrome”. J Neuropsychiatry Clin Neurosci16 (3): 367–78. doi: 10.1176/appi.neuropsych.16.3.367. PMID 15377747.

ATAXIA  - Stem Cell Research & Medical Publication

Bastian AJ, Zackowski KM, Thach WT (May 2000).

“Cerebellar ataxia: torque deficiency or torque mismatch between joints?”. J. Neurophysiol83 (5): 3019–30. PMID  10805697.

ATAXIA  - Stem Cell Research & Medical Publication

by JR Phillips - ‎2015
https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fpubh.2015.00066/full

May 5, 2015 - The cerebellum has been considered for a long time to play a role solely in motor coordination. However, studies over the past two decades have shown that the cerebellum also plays a key role in many motor, cognitive, and emotional processes

ATAXIA  - Stem Cell Research & Medical Publication

van de Warrenburg BP, Steijns JA, Munneke M, Kremer BP, Bloem BR (April 2005).

“Falls in degenerative cerebellar ataxias”. Mov. Disord20 (4): 497–500. doi: 10.1002/mds.20375. PMID 15645525.

ATAXIA  - Stem Cell Research & Medical Publication

Díez S (2009).

“Human health effects of methylmercury exposure”. Rev Environ Contam Toxicol. Reviews of Environmental Contamination and Toxicology. 198: 111–32. doi: 10.1007/978-0-387-09647-6_3ISBN 978-0-387-09646-9.  PMID 19253038.

ATAXIA  - Stem Cell Research & Medical Publication

Carlessi, Luigi, Elena Fusar Poli, and Domenico Delia. 2013. Brain and induced pluripotent stem cell-derived neural stem cells as an in vitro model of neurodegeneration in ataxia-telangiectasia. Experimental biology and medicine (Maywood, N.J.), no. 3. doi:10.1177/1535370213480703.
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23598976.

ATAXIA  - Stem Cell Research & Medical Publication

Spinazzi M, Angelini C, Patrini C (May 2010).

“Subacute sensory ataxia and optic neuropathy with thiamine deficiency”. Nature Reviews Neurology6 (5): 288–93. doi: 10.1038/nrneurol.2010.16. PMID 20308997.

ATAXIA  - Stem Cell Research & Medical Publication

Jarius S, Wildemann B (2015).

“‘Medusa-head ataxia’: the expanding spectrum of Purkinje cell antibodies in autoimmune cerebellar ataxia. Part 1: Anti-mGluR1, anti-Homer-3, anti-Sj/ITPR1 and anti-CARP VIII”. Journal of Neuroinflammation12 (1): 166. doi: 10.1186/s12974-015-0356-y. PMID 26377085.

ATAXIA  - Stem Cell Research & Medical Publication

Hadjivassiliou M, Sanders DS, Woodroofe N, Williamson C, Grünewald RA (2008). “Gluten ataxia”. Cerebellum7 (3): 494–8. doi: 10.1007/s12311-008-0052-x. PMID 18787912.

ATAXIA  - Stem Cell Research & Medical Publication

Biomed Res Int. 2015; 2015: 954901. Published online 2015 Oct 11. doi:  10.1155/2015/954901

From Cerebellar Activation and Connectivity to Cognition: A Review of the Quadrato Motor Training - Tal Dotan Ben-Soussan, 1 , 2 , * Joseph Glicksohn, 1 , 3 and Aviva Berkovich-Ohana 4 , 5