Stem cell therapy in Eastern Europe: the brute force method

Last week I was told by a man an interesting and weird story about his stem cell transplantation therapy somewhere in Eastern Europe. The elderly man was diagnosed with a motor neuron disease previous year which presently turned out to be amyotropbalanc2hic lateral sclerosis (ALS) or Lou Gehrig’s disease, the same that attacked Stephen Hawking in the sixties. The first symptoms manifested 2 years ago, and nowadays there are breathing problems too. During the disease peripheral motoneurons, which innervate human striated muscle gradually degenerate, muscles weaken, waste away, and in the long run control of voluntary movement is lost. Most people with ALS die from respiratory failure, usually within 3 to 5 years from the onset of symptoms. Our man went to the transplantation clinic where he had spent 4 days. He was the only patient in the house surrounded by many doctors and nurses. On the first day his blood and nerves were analysed, on the second day the so called stem cells, 50 million (50×10(6)) in about 100 ml end volume were added systematically into his median cubital vein through infusion, on the 3rd day four shots of stem cells were locally added into his two arms and legs of the area in danger, the number of cells is not known, perhaps another tens of millions. The doctors informed their patient that the first effects of the therapy could be realized after two months of the treatment. The exact source of the cells is unknown, maybe they were embryonic stem cells from blastocysts, or from early foetuses. We are ignorant about the supportive factors, hormones which could be included in the infusion. Financial costs were extremely high. Because of additional treatment, the man has to shuttle between two countries as some material is labelled as a drug in one country but it is not in his native land.

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