Sunday, November 18, 2012

Adult Stem Cell Video for Muscular Dystrophy

Several years ago there were reports of Dr. Paul Cheney taking ME/CFS patients to Costa Rica and Panama for autologous stem cell treatments. The stem cells were harvested from the patients' fat or bone marrow and reinjected back into the patient after being manipulated in some fashion. The reported results were uncertain, and very little has been heard since about stem cells for ME/CFS patients.

The adult stem cell treatments of patients of Dr. Cheney were done at Stem Cell Institute in Panama as well as an institute in Costa Rica (which was eventually closed). The Stem Cell Institute is the brainchild of Dr. Neil Riordan. The webage of the Institute is here. Neil Riordan's professional page is here.

The main treatment thrust of the Stem Cell Institute is in other areas than ME/CFS. The Institute focuses on spinal cord injuries, MS and Muscular Dystrophy. The above video follows the treatment of Ryan Benton, a patient with Muscular Dystrophy.

The video was made by Peter Cairns. Peter Cairns and I met Dr. Neil Riordan by chance at a dinner after an XMRV-related conference at the Whittemore Peterson Institute in the summer of 2010. Many researchers and clinicians were invited to this conference to share information on neuro-immune illnesses.


  1. This is such a moving and informative video. Good job, Peter. And thank you. Hopefully things start moving more quickly for stem cell treatments in the US.

  2. I've been wondering what happened to Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and Stem Cell treatments. I had looked into it about two and a half years ago and decided not to pursue it any further.
    After reading all the research and talking to a physician at the clinic, I determined the risks of the treatment as follows:
    1. Since they used umbilical cord stem cells for treating Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (which are different stem cells than they use for treating Muscular Dystrophy, according to above video), there is a very low but existing risk of contracting blood transmittable diseases such as HIV from the treatment. My doctor here in the US said the risk of contracting a blood transmitted disease with umbilical cord stem cells is about the same as associated with receiving a blood transfusion here in the U.S. (so very low, really). I could imagine that the risk is a little higher than here in the U.S. though, just because it's Panama where they have, I suspect but don't know, less regulations.
    2. They had treated very few patients with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome two and a half years ago. While a few had improved, some did not respond at all to the treatment, and some got--at least for the first three months after the treatment-- worse.

    Just like it's the case with many treatments for Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, stem cell treatment with umbilical cord stem sells seems to help some at least temporarily. Since I was already about 60-70% recovered when I considered the treatment, to me, the risk and cost weren't worth the possible benefit at the time. However, I could imagine that I would have thought about it differently if I had had $40 000 a year to spare and had been a lot sicker.

    For more info Google "Stem Cells Chronic Fatigue Syndrome" or click this link:
    I recommend reading the search result by prohealth, betterhealthguy and forums.

  3. I had thought that when Dr Cheney and
    Dr Peterson's treatments failed, this would open their minds to the evidence they decided was meaningless during the Tahoe Mystery Illness.

    Instead, it was the exact opposite.
    Their "disInclination" to revisit the original phenomenon only increases.

    They told me I was headed in the wrong direction.

    If I hadn't listened to them, I would have had no life at all.