Summit for Stem Cell Foundation’s vision is a world where regenerative medicine is fully integrated into mainstream healthcare for persons with Parkinson’s disease and other neurological conditions as a treatment option.
Today, neurological disorders affect 1 billion worldwide. The fastest growing population is Parkinson’s disease (PD). The latest estimated statistics:
- 1 million people in the U.S. have been diagnosed with PD.
- 90,000 new cases are diagnosed annually in the U.S. alone.
- Approximately 10 million people have the disease worldwide today.
- Current trends indicate that by 2030 PD could:
- outpace Alzheimer’s Disease and become the leading neurodegenerative disease.
- grow to 30 million diagnosed cases.
- 20% are diagnosed before age 40. (Young onset Parkinson’s disease.)
- Highest percentage diagnosed are male age 50-80.
- The CAUSE is unknown. There is NO CURE.
- There is one certainty for patients with PD: It always gets worse.
- These statistics need to change.
Summit for Stem Cell Foundation History:
Launching a novel therapy
Summit for Stem Cell Foundation (Summit) began as a small group of people with Parkinson’s disease, advocates, friends and families who were seeking knowledge about new therapies for alleviating the symptoms of their disease. (see volunteers left)
Presentation in the Loring Lab
induced pluripotent stem cell colony
Ten years ago the foundation found Dr. Jeanne Loring (at Scripps Research Institute) is a world renown pioneer in the field of human stem cell research. After attending a presentation at Dr. Loring’s lab, the group began fundraising to support a PD project in her lab. (see above right). With the funds raised by the foundation, Dr. Loring’s lab launched a research project that made use of her lab’s ability to produce induced pluripotent stem cells (ipsc’s) from skin cells; these cells have the same abilities as stem cells obtained from embryos produced in IVF clinics: They can live forever and generate any cell type in the body. The most unique attribute ipsc’s posses is they are autologous. The ipsc’s, being sourced from the patient’s skin cells, match the DNA of the patient! (see left and below right)
The lab-initiated development of an autologous dopamine neuron replacement therapy, using a person’s own skin cell-derived pluripotent stem cells to make dopamine neurons intended to use for transplantation to replace the neurons that die in PD. The figure on the right is an overview of the planned therapy, with the genomic analysis techniques that will ensure the safety and effectiveness of the cell replacement therapy.
Cycle to create ipsc’s and eventually, autologous dopamine neurons
THE LATEST UPDATE: The Wall Street Journal (03/23/23)
“The Personalized Stem Cells That Could One Day Treat Parkinson’s and Heart Failure
Scientists are reverse-engineering patients’ own skin or blood cells to behave similarly to embryonic cell and using them in tests to treat incurable diseases…”
“…Awaiting approval from the Food and Drug Administration, the company (Aspen Neuroscience, Inc.) aims to begin tests with some of those participants this year, with the results expected in about three years…”
While waiting for the run up to clinical trials, Summit turned to another great need for people with Parkinson’s disease. The Foundation is now raising funds for a patient-oriented wellness center that will offer help in every aspect of PD, including education, physical therapy, and many other services that a person with newly diagnosed or progressing PD and their caregivers, can turn to for empowerment to live their best lives with the disease. The Wellness Center* will include medical and
scientific experts who can keep people abreast of scientific progress toward clinical trials. The Wellness Center team will serve as guides to understanding the disease and how to live with it. We will also connect people so they can learn from and help each other.
The development of the Summit Wellness Center for Parkinson’s disease funding is ongoing, and Summit is seeking philanthropic and donors so we can open our doors as soon as possible.
The Wellness Center for Parkinson's
HELPING understand what Parkinson’s is.
TEACHING how to manage Parkinson’s.
EMPOWERING with the skills and resources to live the best life with the disease.
A bit more about Summit today...
Sadly, the treatments and medications effectiveness currently in use is finite for Parkinson’s disease.
Summit believes the acquiescence of symptomatic treatments and rescue medicines for a life-altering ailments such as Parkinson’s disease is unacceptable.
Summit believes that regenerative medicine has the strongest potential to provide precision medical treatments to address illnesses and conditions affecting the nervous system. We feel that once Parkinson’s disease is adequately addressed by a cell therapy such as Dr. Loring’s (managed by Aspen Neuroscience), the “doors will open wide” for other conditions with unmet medical needs.
Summit, dares to continue to look outside the box at new and innovative research.
Summit continues its maverick approach looking for the answers to long-standing questions of:
“What is the CAUSE of Parkinson’s?”
“What is the CURE for Parkinson’s disease?”