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Stem Cell Treatment Proven to Reduce Parkinson’s Symptoms

Thursday October 26, 2006

American Gets Life Back with Groundbreaking Treatment at Beijing Hospital

BEIJING,, 10/24/06(e.releases) - Tiantan Puhua Neurosurgical Hospital announced today the first known successful stem cell therapy treatment in China, and one of the first in the world, of an American citizen inflicted with the debilitating Parkinson’s disease. Tiantan Puhua applied the unique procedure, specifically designed for Parkinson’s patients, to 52 year old Penny Thomas of Hawaii who says she has since seen tremendous improvement in her condition. The announcement comes as Hospital staff completed the initial stage of careful monitoring of Penny’s progress during and after the treatment to ensure that the procedure was a success. Further details and videos can be found at http://www.stemcellschina.com.

"I was on the verge of dying" says Penny. "Now, I feel that I have my life back after this new stem cell treatment. My body has calmed down, I can walk fluidly, I can hold a knife and a fork and cut my food by myself, I can get out of bed on my own, brush my hair, and even do Yoga. I feel like a kid again," she said.

Tiantan Puhua Hospital’s groundbreaking treatment introduces ’Human Retinal Pigment Epithelial cells’ (hRPE) to patients’ bodies causing them to naturally produce Dopamine, enhancing Dopamine levels in the brain. The Hospital’s use of hRPE cells means that patients do not have immunosuppressive reactions and therefore do not need to take additional drugs during the treatment. Specifically, the treatment includes a procedure that introduces hRPE cells into the region in the brain where there are damaged cells, along with a daily cocktail of medications that "fertilize" this area, helping the cells to survive.

Dr. Sherwood Yang, Vice President of Tiantan Puhua Hospital said, "Our medical solution gives a new ray of hope for all patients around the world suffering from formerly untreatable neural diseases like Parkinson’s, Cerebral Palsy and Stroke. We are all very happy for Penny and are excited to see the improvement in her condition."

Parkinson disease is a brain disorder that occurs when certain nerve cells in the brain die or become damaged. The normal function of these nerve cells is the production of Dopamine - a vital chemical which is responsible of our body’s smooth and well coordinated movement. The lack of Dopamine as a result of damaged nerve cells can cause the Parkinson’s symptoms of shaking (tremors), stiffness of the muscles, freeze ups, balance difficulties and slowness of movement.

Penny Thomas was diagnosed with Parkinson by doctors in the USA 4 years prior and has since suffered from almost every symptom of the disease. Her muscles were very tense, yet extremely weak. She experienced constant shaking in her hands, had severe difficulty getting out of a bed or chair by herself, and could only eat if her food was prepared for her in a way that allowed her to use a spoon or her fingers. She had given up reading and writing and had extreme difficulty performing operations most people take for granted, such as holding a telephone, getting dressed, brushing her hair or even turning her neck. Penny often experienced "freeze ups" while walking whereby she would stop and not be able to continue her motion.

After two months of Stem Cell therapy, which included neurological nutritional balancing and rehabilitation in Tiantan Puhua Hospital in Beijing that started on May 11, 2006, Penny said she regained her life back. While the treatment can not completely remove all symptoms of the disease, Penny’s shaking was greatly reduced, muscle tension disappeared, her strength increased, movement became more fluid, and her freeze ups stopped. After the treatment, Penny was able to get out of bed immediately and without help. For more specifics see http://www.stemcellschina.com/content/view/205/15/.

About Tiantan Puhua Neurosurgical Hospital

Tiantan (Temple of Heaven) Puhua Hospital collaborates with the Stem Cells Research Center of China’s renowned Peking University, the leading stem cells research group in the country. There, stem cells are nurtured and induced for clinical treatment. To date, over 20 Parkinson patients have been treated using hRPE stem cells, with all patients exhibiting increased dopamine in their metabolism and improved control of movement. Long term follow up of the patients remains unavailable and is currently being carefully researched on a select number of patients. Tiantan Puhua is the only hospital that offers this treatment to patients beyond limited clinical trials and Penny is the only known American citizen treated for Parkinson’s using this type of stem cell treatment.