Q: I am on LevoDopa since my stroke which hit nearly one year ago. it was a mid brain stroke and originated a parkinsonism. Do you think I should quit LevaDopa?
A: Apparently you developed Parkinson signs after a stroke and were prescribed LevoDopa. I cannot make any recommendation regarding the medication since I do not have your MRI brain; your current signs and symptoms etc. With the history that you have stated, however, it appears that you would be a candidate to receive neuron brain stem cells mixed with brain neurotrophins; glial factor; nerve growth factor administered into the central nervous system and brain via the spinal canal.

Q: Recently an article appeared that stated "mesenchymal (bone marrow) stem cells injected for brain damage (MS) produced turmoral masses in over half of the mice treated. http://beaker.sanfordburnham.org/?p=4267 This is indeed bad news. I wonder what will happen to the many clinics that are using this methodology for treating brain damage if this proves true. What are your opinions on the matter?
A: I do not understand why patients and their doctors consider using mesenchymal stem cells to repair brain damage. Mesenchymal stem cells should be used to repair tendons, cartilage, ligaments and possibly some blood disorders. Once you administer mesenchymal stem cells they are more likely to transform into the above named tissue types than into functioning brain. The risk of tumors is another concern when using mesenchymal stem cells. I really think that some clinics use these cells simply because they have no source of neuron stem cells that would be the appropriate choice.

Q: I had adipose derived treatment and it took several months for the area to heal where the liposuction was performed. It hurt like the devil for awhile too. Every so often I still have some pain in the area. Is this normal? The treatment didn't produce anything for me, but this royal pain.
A: Adipose stem cells are the new hype to use for every disease. It is much more invasive with side effects to obtain stem cells from adipose tissue. I see no advantages in doing this procedure when you can obtain autologous stem cells from the patient’s peripheral blood or bone marrow. On the other hand if a plastic surgeon does liposuction for body sculpturing; then uses the fat tissue and adipose stem cells for use as filler in deep lines on the face that would be appropriate. In your particular case you now have a peripheral neuropathy arising from the site of the liposuction and you should consult with a neurologist or pain specialist.

Q: I would like to ask about hearing loss which is what I suffer from. If hearing loss is treatable with stem cells what would happen if you get a treatment and recover or at least improve your hearing and a little time later, you damage it again with loud music or something (an accident, etc.)? Would another stem cell treatment help again? Or does the effect lose its power to heal the body after being already used more than once or twice? What future do you see for hearing loss treatments, honestly?
A: I believe that cochlear transplants will become even more successful in the future and that stem cell treatments will become more refined. These are already being done as well as stem cells in clinical trials and should offer considerable hope for patients suffering hearing loss in the future. Of course if your hearing is again damaged from external sources a treatment will have to be repeated but should be successful even if it is a second treatment.

Q: What is the difference between stem cells derived from blood and those derived from fat? Which do you believe is better for lung treatments?
A: If one uses strictly autologous stem cells from peripheral blood or adipose tissue there probably will be little difference. On the other hand if one transfers the stem cells to a line of pulmonary stem cells in the laboratory that would be the ideal situation. Recently in an article from the New England Journal of Medicine lung stem cells were discovered. If a COPD patients gets G-CSF it will increase the number of pulmonary stem cells in niches of the lungs. There are other agents I use with stem cells that enhance the regeneration of damaged lung tissue.
The lung has one great advantage when treating patients with COPD or emphysema in that stem cells given intravenously will be trapped in the vasculature(blood vessels) in the alveoli, bronchioles and bronchi where they can assist in repair and regeneration.
We are not too far from the day when tissue engineering of damaged lungs will be the ideal method used to treat chronic lung disease.

Q: I have read several articles that mention lengthening telomeres as a way to reverse aging. Is there any research currently being conducted and if so where can I find more information?
A: The research for the use of telomerase to lengthen telomeres has been going on for many years. I would recommend going to Google and typing in T.A. Sciences. Their site has considerable information on this subject. The telomere length can be measured at several laboratories from a sample of the patient’s blood.
I personally recommend to my patients that are 60 and above in age to consider telomerase. I also think it has a place in the treatment of most serious chronic diseases in older adults. You can contact my office for additional information.

Q: Recently an article appeared that stated "Researchers in Baltimore have identified new compounds which relax airway muscles and may provide relief from shortness of breath for patients with COPD and asthma. The bitter-tasting compounds are at least as, if not more, effective than currently available agents used to manage these diseases, and may present new options for treatment." Do you know what these bitter compounds might be? The article didn't say.
A: Dr Liggett, University of Maryland, Baltimore regarding the bronchodilatation effect of bitter tasting compounds. There are taste receptors in the lungs same as in the tongue. In the tongue the taste receptors are clustered and send signals to the brain. In the lungs the taste receptors are not clustered and do not send signals to the brain yet do respond to bitter tastes with relaxation of the smooth muscle airways. In the article Dr. Liggett cautions that eating bitter tasting foods or compounds would not help in the treatment of asthma but that chemical modifications of the bitter tasting compounds might be a field of research to be engaged in. The bitter tasting compounds referred to in the article were related to extracts obtained from various vegetables, fruits, berries and trees. Nothing more specific was mentioned other than some drugs used for other diseases that have a bitter taste.

Q: When I hear the word anti-aging, my first thought is always skin care, mainly of the face and neck. What other parts of the body would benefit from anti-aging treatments?
A: Most people focus on their external appearance when they consider anti-aging. This is understandable but one should be also concerned about the aging of the brain, heart, kidneys, lungs, liver, bone marrow, intestines, testes or ovaries, adrenal, pituitary and thyroid glands. To start with simply focus on eating foods that are healthy such as fish (wild Alaska salmon, sardines,mackerel); fresh fruits (lots of berries) and vegetables; tofu; whole grains etc. and a regular form of exercise 3-7 times a week.
From a medical point of view testing the length of your telomeres and possibly taking telomerase; measuring your human growth hormone (IgF-1 test); men measuring their testosterone; women getting advice about bio-identical hormones during post menopause; consider “banking” your stem cells obtained from your peripheral blood;
Women having regular breast examination at their doctor’s office or self examination; regular colonoscopies every 3-5 year intervals; cardiac evaluations EKG, Echocardiograms on a treadmill; PSA tests (men); consider the new biomarker laboratory tests for very early detection of cancer; comprehensive laboratory tests every 6-12 months depending on your age to check for cholesterol and lipids, ANA to rule out autoimmune disease; HgA1C and fasting insulin levels to check for insulin resistance. The list goes on but patients should adopt a plan to consider all the above.

Q: What exactly do you do if someone wants an anti-aging treatment? Is it just stem cells or what all is involved? Is it an ongoing type treatment like getting botox? Is there such a thing as too old to get an anti-aging treatment?
A: Aging is not for sissies!!! You can control the expression of your genes and seek improved healthy aging and longevity. There is no age that is too old to consider healthy aging. As stated above the use of telomerase, using your own stem cells, human growth hormone, other bio-identical hormones, eating healthy foods as mentioned above, strict regular use of exercise, taking measures to prevent cancer by checking laboratory biomarkers and tests that may detect any early signs, stimulating your brain in new learning processes are just part of this way to stay young. There is a new development in targeting patients with gene disorders that suffer from Huntington’s disease; alpha 1 anti-trypsin- a serious lung disorder; Alzheimer’s; Parkinson disease; early dementia; diabetes I ;etc. I which abnormal gene mutations can be deleted or missing genes can be inserted safely. We are indeed entering into an amazing new era in medicine one that targets the cause of disease rather than giving medicines to treat symptoms.

Q: Does insurance cover any of the costs of treatment at your clinic? I realize each person's policy might be different, but in general is any part of it covered?
A: Many of anti-aging tests and procedures are covered in most doctors’ offices since they are part of family medicine/internal medicine by standard insurance. Stem cell treatments; telomerase are not covered by insurance but could be an important part of your budget considering their potential values.

About Dr Burton Feinerman
After years of searching for the proverbial "fountain of youth" aging has become a treatable condition which can be managed and even slowed down. This is an astounding statement, but even more astounding is the cutting edge medical technology which makes it true. Hard scientific research and carefully tested anti-aging therapies now prove that we can actually live longer, healthier, happier lives.
Scientific advances now can empower a patient's own body to literally rebuild itself using their own adult stem cells to combat aging, chronic disease and illness.



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