Traumatic Brain Injury

traumatic brain injury and stem cells

Stem Cells Help Heal Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)

Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) refers to a form of acquired brain injury that occurs when a sudden trauma causes damage to the brain. Traumatic Brain Injury can result when the head suddenly and violently hits an object, or when an object pierces the skull and enters brain tissue.  Symptoms of a TBI can be mild, moderate, or severe, depending on the extent of the damage to the brain.

During the acute stage (first 30 days) which occurs after the injury, medical treatment is aimed at life-saving and damage minimizing measures such as judicious use of specific drugs and sometimes surgery. At this stage, the addition of stem cells to the patient’s treatments can be the difference between “having a life of quality” and a “life time of lost functions” with little quality of life! It is during these first few days that all of the difference is made for the rest of that person’s life.  Unfortunately, stem cells are so little used and so little understood by the average doctor or surgeon that this choice is almost never mentioned.

In some instances the best route to getting desired result might be to move the patient to a facility that allows some latitude in terms of off-label use of treatments for TBI such as hyperbaric oxygen therapy. Each case is unique and TBI patients and their caregivers are encouraged to call Dr. Steenblock for input. For example, he might be able to point you to a hospital close to you that offers hyperbaric oxygen, intravenous magnesium, etc. for TBI.

Once a TBI sufferer is stabilized, they enter a “chronic stage” which typically involves rehabilitation, occupational, language and/or speech therapies (if indicated) and physiotherapy. Most of our patients come to Dr. Steenblock at this stage rather than the acute stage.

If you have TBI, take heart: There is scientific evidence that indicates that hyperbaric oxygen therapy can help offset brain damage during the acute stage, and gradually bring about improvements in TBI patients in the chronic stage. Over the past three decades Dr. Steenblock has created a comprehensive neuro-rehabilitation program including HBOT that has produced many dramatic turnarounds.

In addition, there is evidence that the use of adult (non-embryonic) stem cells can produce healing in TBI. Dr. David Steenblock, in fact, has documented impressive clinical improvements in Traumatic Brain Injury patients treated using their own bone marrow at his clinic in Mission Viejo, California. Not surprisingly, researchers at the University of Texas-Houston Medical School found the potential of using a TBI patient’s own bone marrow derived stem cells to treat their condition compelling enough to warrant doing a formal clinical study; they are working on this with Memorial Hermann Children’s hospital (also in Houston).

Dr. Steenblock has found a combination of stem cell-rich bone marrow aspirate (BMAC)  given in conjunction with a variety of treatments to increase growth factors, dilate blood vessels and enhance the engraftment and proliferation of the stem cells tends to produce better outcomes than less rigorous approaches. He predicates his stem cell based treatment approach, in part, on a simple premise: Namely, the key to getting optimal results using stem cells is to remove things like infections and heavy metals that interfere with their engraftment, growth and proliferation while simultaneously performing a “time warp” on the patient, i.e., duplicating the physical conditions that predominate in newborns such as the presence and levels of growth factors that encourage the growth of stem cells and their activity in terms of both repairing and creating new tissues.

To help pull this off Dr. Steenblock mobilizes stem cells from a patient’s bone marrow using the FDA approved drug Neupogen® which prods the marrow to produce replacement stem cells that tend to be more robust than those that were mobilized. He then harvests and infuses this “revitalized” bone marrow (BMAC) by intravenous or other means. The harvesting procedure is done using a simple, almost painless procedure worked out by Dr. Steenblock. In addition, he creates growth factor rich platelet rich plasma (PRP) from a patient’s own blood and mixes this with the BMAC prior to administering it (These growth factors activate stem cells and enhance their activity). And finally, Dr. Steenblock then directs the stem cells to target tissues by the use of special factors that are extracted from a patient’s own blood. These are injected into those areas (such as joints) where the stem cells need to go in order to affect repair and restoration. One of these factors is SDF-1 which can bring 50 times more stem cells to the injured organ or tissue than is otherwise possible.

In some instances, Dr. Steenblock refers patients to their Mexican colleagues for administration of pure umbilical cord stem cells in order to optimize healing.

To sum it up: Dr. Steenblock’s comprehensive stem cell-based approach to Traumatic Brain Injury is geared to (1) prepare a patient’s body to respond vigorously to injected stem cells; (2) identify and deal with dietary, lifestyle and other factors that tend to complicate or exacerbate TBI; and (3) remove impediments that tend to compromise patient responses to stem cells as well as stem cell activity in the body. Among the tools and methods which Dr. Steenblock utilizes to pull this off:

(1) Placing TBI patients on a diet and supplements specific to their condition.

(2) Chelation therapy (if indicated) to remove toxic heavy metals from the patient’s tissues and organs.

(3) Use of stem cell mobilizers such as all-natural Stemgevity and FDA approved stem cell mobilization drugs such as Neupogen® (Filgrastim).

(3) Creation of individualized regimens that include use of leading edge FDA approved stem cell mobilizing devices such as Intermittent Hypoxia Therapy, Periodic Acceleration Therapy, Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy, External counterpulsation and more.

You can read more about these on, and also in the November-December 2010 issue of Dr. Steenblock’s Clinic newsletter which you can readily access by going to (Go to page 2, the article titled “How Dr. Steenblock Can Help You Turn the Tables on Aging & Chronic Disease”)

To learn more call 1-800-300-1063.