The newest clinical study from MD Stem Cells is called ACIST – pronounced assist, which means to give aid or help. The Alzheimers, Autism and Cognitive Impairment Stem Cell Treatment (ACIST) study uses the patients own bone marrow stem cells to investigate the cellular treatment of different types of dementias including Alzheimers Disease, as well as Autism Spectrum Disorder.
The research physicians with MD Stem Cells are building on their ongoing stem cell studies including the Stem Cell Ophthalmology Treatment Study II (SCOTS2) which has shown statistical significance in various eye diseases, the Neurologic Stem Cell Treatment (NEST) study for neurologic diseases such as Parkinsons, MSA, Multiple Sclerosis, Stroke, etc. and the Stem Cell Spinal Cord Injury Exoskeleton and Virtual Reality study for paraplegia. They are now beginning the new ACIST study for some of the most difficult cognition and memory issues affecting patients including dementias such as Alzheimers, Lewy Body, CADASIL and social interactive problems such as in Autism Spectrum Disorder.
Dr. Steven Levy, CEO of MD Stem Cells and Study Director for the stem cell studies, explains, This is standard clinical science- to develop an approach that appears to be helpful in certain diseases and explore its application to other diseases with similar pathology. Whether patients choose to be evaluated or participate in ACIST, the research physicians involved convey their strongest desire for patients suffering with these diseases to find relief; they hope their work will help develop approaches to provide improvements for all those afflicted.
The new ACIST study is unique in several ways. Although not the first to explore the use of stem cells in the treatment of Alzheimers Disease, other dementias or Autism, the group is using their deep experience gained over hundreds of patients to optimize the approach. There are 3 arms, or ways the treatment is provided, in ACIST. The Bone Marrow Stem Cells (BMSC) provided as intravenous alone, intravenous plus intranasal, or intravenous plus the use of Near Infrared Light (NIR). This is the first time Near Infrared Light is being explored in combination with stem cells to potentially benefit the impaired neurons. NIR has been shown to affect certain enzymes associated with the mitochondria in cells, which is how the majority of ATP for cellular energy is normally produced.
The ACIST study is objectively assessing patients both prior to participation and afterwards to evaluate potential benefit. In both cognitive impairment and Autism Spectrum Disorder, specific but simple testing is required for inclusion in the studies. MD Stem Cells hopes that improvements occur and that this objective testing will allow them to show statistical significance in the journal papers planned.
ACIST, like other studies sponsored by MD Stem Cells, uses the patients own stem cells so there is no risk of rejection or need for anti-rejection medications. The procedure is performed in a fully licensed surgical center under anesthesia provided by board-certified anesthesiologists. The bone marrow stem cell fraction is separated using FDA cleared equipment in compliance with their guidelines. Patients under the age of 18 years may be eligible for treatment outside the US.
MD Stem Cells is not a pharmaceutical company and has no grant support for ACIST. This is a patient sponsored study which means patients pay for the treatment received. Patients interested in the study may contact Dr. Steven Levy, Study Director, by calling during business hours EST at 203-423-9494.
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