About Summit

Our mission:

Summit for Stem Cell Foundation’s mission is to support, educate and raise awareness about the development of today’s and tomorrow’s evidence-based regenerative medical therapies focused on Parkinson’s disease and other neurodegenerative disorders. It is our goal to empower patients and physicians with information to elevate their understanding in order to manage their care.

Our vision:

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.

The Stats:

  • Today, neurological disorders affect 1 billion worldwide. The fastest growing population is Parkinson’s disease (PD). The latest estimated statistics:

  • The cause(s) of PD  remains unknown.
  • PD is a chronic neurodegenerative condition for which there is still no cure.
  • Current trends  indicate PD could outpace Alzheimer’s Disease in the U.S. by 2030.
  • Today, in the U.S., 1 million people in the U.S. have PD.
  •  Currently, in the U.S., new cases of PD are diagnosed annually.
  • Highest percentage diagnosed are age: 50-80.
  •  
    • In 1990 – 2.6 million, worldwide with Parkinson’s disease
    • Today – 10 million worldwide, diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease (more than doubling)
    • In 40 yrs., if left unchecked, the number of people diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease is expected to be 12.9+ million.
    •  Parkinson’s disease is projected to be the leading neurodegenerative disease – outpacing even Alzheimer’s disease by 2030!
  • There is one certainty for people 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

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?”

and

“What is the CURE for Parkinson’s disease?”