Author: admin

Young blood as anti-aging fountain of youth: hype or hope?

Share this: Imagine an old man and a teenager sitting side by side, with blood flowing from the kid to the oldster in a stab at anti-aging. Sort of like a one-way fountain of youth via blood flow…Sci-fi? People are kind of trying it in the real world. A self-described ‘clinical trial’ of a sort by a company called Ambrosia essentially lets you buy an infusion of a younger person’s blood in an attempt at anti-aging for $8,000. Interested? Reportedly tech guru Peter Thiel is: “I’m not convinced yet we’ve found a single panacea that works. It’s possible there exist single-point things that could work. I’m looking into parabiosis stuff, which I think is really interesting. This is where they did the young blood into older mice and they found that had a massive rejuvenating effect. And so that’s…that is one that…again, it’s one of these very odd things where people had done these studies in the 1950s and then it got dropped altogether. I think there are a lot of these things that have been strangely underexplored.” The Ambrosia trial is run by Jesse Karmazin down at a clinic in Monterey, CA. It aims to test the idea that young blood can help the old or at least relatively older to fight aging. This effort has been controversial and drawn criticism, in part for the money  and in part for the clinical...

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Iffy stem cell shot in big toe, not ‘shot-in-the-arm’ NFL star was hoping

Share this: Getting a stem cell shot or injection is completely 100% safe, right? An NFL star recently found out just how wrong that stem cell clinic mantra turned out to be. Jordan Reed, tight end for the Washington Redskins, has had issues with his big toe. He apparently thought that a stem cell injection there would be the ticket to a speedier recovery to get back on the field, but according to ESPN and Richmond Times Dispatch, this “shot in the arm” via the shot in his big toe has caused more problems. “But after he got a stem cell shot following minicamp, his toe became inflamed. He started compensating in workouts and hurt his ankle. Rest became the prescription. Reed is also awaiting new cleats with orthotics to protect the toe.” Apparently this isn’t Reed’s first try with stem cells as according to the WaPo, he got a stem cell injection in 2015 too for a leg problem. I’m not clear on whether the shot was to the knee or the quadriceps or both. What exactly was in these “stem cell shots”? I can’t find any information on what was in that latest shot or who administered it, but the shot seemed to make things worse, not better. His toe, injured last season, was getting better on its own… “However, after the summer sessions, he got a stem-cell...

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Lawsuit against stem cell clinic StemGenex expands to 5 patients

Share this: The stem cell clinic StemGenex was sued almost a year ago related to allegations about their marketing claims. This proposed class action suit, Moorer v. StemGenex, now includes five named patients involved as one can see from the new fourth amended complaint court document. The five total named patients involved in the suit include four new ones Alexandra Gardner of Colorado, Stephen Ginsberg of California, Jennifer Brewer of Montana, and Rebecca King of Arkansas, and then the original plaintiff Selena Moorer, who is a resident of Florida. Reportedly each StemGenex customer paid $14,900 for their stem cell transplant. Notably, four of the patients mentioned in the document traveled from other states to the San Diego area to receive stem cells from StemGenex. This seems to be a more general thing with the business and its customers as the amended complaint document quoted the StemGenex website that, “over 70% of patients travel to StemGenex Medical Group from out of state.” Besides the business itself, the Defendants listed include the following: “ANDRE P. LALLANDE, D.O., SCOTT SESSIONS, M.D., RITA ALEXANDER, and DOES 1-100.” The LA Times recently reported that Sessions was the subject of California State Medical Board action. I think that he is no longer associated with StemGenex. For other archived posts on StemGenex see here. The new court document indicates that the health conditions of the plaintiffs for which they thought...

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Review of Nature paper: stem cell exosomes on the brain and aging

Share this: Transgenic mouse hypothalamus Is there a stem cell connection between the brain and aging? Could a type of brain stem cell control whole body aging? A recent big Nature article from the lab of Dongcheng Cai argues an emphatic “Yes” to these questions, at least in mice. In the Zhang, et al paper, entitled “Hypothalamic stem cells control ageing speed partly through exosomal miRNAs”, their team reports the claim that a narrow population of hypothalamic stem cells are directly fighting aging of the entire murine body via a mechanism involving exosomes, the brain and aging. It’s a wildly exciting idea on many levels, but as with all such grant hypotheses, extraordinary evidence is needed to back it up. Does this paper have that level of evidence? So far I’m not convinced the research is there yet, but this team did a ton of work to support their big hypothesis. What did they do to support their idea? The paper first takes away those key stem cells in the brain and looks for what happens. It argues that via a thymidine kinase-based ablation of these hypothalamic stem cells, that they are necessary in the brain to maintain all kinds of bodily functions such as healthy skin. That is possible, but it’s a huge claim. They also argue that these brain stem cells are required for many other things as...

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Hallelujah it’s raining money? Stem cell job ad is window into clinics & their finances

Online image labeled for re-use Share this: “Are you a motivational speaker?” is how a recent stem cell job ad for a sales position related to stem cell clinics begins. This ad that popped up on Monster earlier this summer is a revealing window on stem cell clinic practices. What’s inside, in my opinion, is cause for concern. Lately we’ve seen more and more ads for stem cell clinics targeted to patients, but this particular ad is a job opening and it kind of spills the beans on what the clinics are doing and their financials. Amongst other things this stem cell job ad promises big money (“the right candidate will earn a very nice 6 figure income!”)  for sales people if they can get enough patients in the door and care providers engaged. It asks potential applicants, “Would you like to get paid what you are worth?” and then later more specifically points out that, “Each sale earns a 1%, 3% or 5% commission.” All that money will be coming from patients, either directly or indirectly, as these procedures are not covered by insurance. Since in general what stem cell clinics are selling is not supported by properly controlled, pre-clinical or clinical studies published in mainstream journals, and is not FDA approved, overall is this kind of offering within the stem cell clinic field fair to patients? If we do a simple back-of-the-napkin calculation...

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