A Miami doctor who has developed an international reputation for medical innovation over the last 18 years has become a pioneer in the burgeoning and critically important field of stem cell therapy.
Alimorad Farshchian, M.D., founder and medical director of The Center for Regenerative Medicine, founded in 1999, has developed innovative, safe and effective stem cell treatments for Parkinson’s Disease, spinal stenosis and other physical ailments, such as back and knee problems. More recently, he has developed stem cell-derived eye drops that have successfully treated a range of eye disorders, including retinitis pigmentosa.
Since 2006, Dr. Farshchian has treated more than 11,000 patients in more than 50 countries with his proprietary stem cell therapies. Despite his major innovation and success with stem cell therapies, he is best-known worldwide for successfully treating the late Michael Jackson for his addiction to prescription painkillers and also for an ankle injury before what would have been the new tour Jackson planned before his death.
Stem cells are the body’s most fundamental raw materials — the cells from which all other cells with specialized functions are generated. They either become new stem cells or specialized cells, such as retina cells for the eyes. No other cell in the human body has the ability to generate new types of cells that address specific bodily functions.
Beginning in 1999, Dr. Farshchian, a member of the American Academy of Anti-Aging Medicine, began a quest to develop new and more effective treatments for neurodegenerative diseases such as Parkinson’s Disease. In 2006, he began experimenting with revolutionary stem cell treatments that involve using the patient’s own stem cells, known as autologous stem cells, which are reinjected into the patient’s body after minimal processing.
“I’ve experienced great improvement as a result of the stem cell treatments,” says 62-year-old Sharon Davis of Cocoa, Florida, who was diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease three and a half years ago. After taking medications for more than three years that did not eliminate her symptoms and also had unpleasant side effects, she sought out Dr. Farshchian after he successfully treated her 37-year-old daughter, Heather Fleckinger, who had suffered from chronic and severe lower back problems for five years.
A series of three monthly stem cell injections significantly relieved Ms. Davis’s symptoms, especially the shaking she was experiencing on her right side, and reduced her need for prescription medications. “Based on how much he helped me, I tell everybody I know to go see him,” says Ms. Davis, who is continuing treatment in the hope her symptoms will be completely alleviated, ending her need for any medications.
Her daughter, Ms. Fleckinger, says, “I feel like Dr. Farshchian saved my life. Before I went to see him, I wore a back brace and took daily medications, but my back problems still prevented me from doing my job as a horse trainer and I had to wear a back brace almost constantly. Over a five-year period, I also tried chiropractors and acupuncture, but nothing worked.”
Then, she says, a series of three stem cell injections from Dr. Farshchian over a one-week period cured her. “Within three weeks, my back felt much better,” she says. “And after four weeks, it didn’t hurt at all. I could hardly believe it. I consider it a miracle.” She returns for follow-up “booster shots” every six to 12 months.
Rose Rubino, a 69-year-old business owner from Cape Canaveral, has been treated with Dr. Farshchian’s stem cell therapies over the last seven years for knee problems, severe arthritis, and spinal stenosis.
“The first time I went to see him, I was scheduled for knee replacement surgery,” Ms. Rubino says. “But I ended up being able to avoid surgery because of the incredible result I got from the stem cell injections.” She received three injections over a one-week period.
Three months later, her 54-year-old sister suffered a frozen shoulder. Doctors told her the condition required arthroscopic surgery. Instead, based on Ms. Rubino’s recommendation, she saw Dr. Farshchian, who treated her successfully with a single stem cell injection. “So she was able to avoid surgery, just like I was,” Ms. Rubino says.
Over the past five years, Dr. Farshchian has also successfully treated Ms. Rubino for arthritis and spinal stenosis. “Dr. Farshchian saved my life, as far as I’m concerned,” she says. “Nobody ever told me that as I aged, I would develop all these painful physical ailments that would supposedly require surgery. And every time, Dr. Farshchian’s stem cell treatments worked. I consider myself his unofficial spokesperson, because as far as I’m concerned he performed multiple miracles in my life. So I tell the world about him, every chance I get.”
Dr. Farshchian’s latest progress is in the field of optical regeneration. He has developed proprietary eye drops, trademarked as iFarshchian Drops™, to treat retinitis pigmentosa, a genetic disorder that involves a breakdown and loss of cells in the retina.
The drops are uniquely developed for each patient from his or her own stem cells and are engineered to penetrate the sclera, or white outer layer of the eyeball, in order to find damaged eye cells and rejuvenate them.
Dr. Farshchian stresses that recently reported and serious complications from therapy at a South Florida clinic that injected stem cells into the eyes of patients were the result of flawed delivery of the therapy, rather than the therapy itself, which has been proven safe and successful in ongoing clinical trials at University of California at Irvine and at RIKEN Laboratory in Kobe, Japan. He also emphasizes that his eye drops are less invasive and safer than injections.
This spring, Dr. Farshchian’s eye drops successfully treated 89-year-old James
Enochs of Prince George, VA for degenerative eye disease. “I’ve already had significant improvement in my ability to read an eye chart,” says Enochs, who was successfully treated with stem cell therapy by Dr. Farshchian for chronic knee problems seven years ago. “My eyes had been very sensitive to wind and light. And I’ve noticed a significant improvement in that sensitivity. I can only speak about the eye drops from my own experience. But for me, they have already delivered pretty remarkable results.” He will now continue to use the drops at home. “Dr. Farshchian is a very brilliant and innovative doctor,” Enochs says. “I was just about as skeptical as you could be the first time I came to Miami seven years ago for treatment on my knees. But I had a huge success with my knees, and was able to avoid the surgery that my orthopedist wanted to perform. Now I’ve also had success with my eyes. So I’m very impressed with his work with stem cells. I’m not a skeptic anymore.” Because Dr. Farshchian uses only autologous stem cells — those taken from a patient’s own body — the therapies are neither restricted nor regulated by the Food & Drug Administration. But, Dr. Farshchian points out, he fully complies with all stem cell-related FDA recommendations.
“The three primary disorders that I treat with stem cells — retinitis pigmentosa, Parkinson’s Disease, and spinal stenosis, are difficult to treat traditionally because they are stubbornly resistant to surgery,” Dr. Farshchian says. “That means that most patients with those conditions are in dire need of a new alternative that works. And very few of them are aware yet of the dramatic breakthroughs being made with stem cell therapies.”
His stem cell treatments are not Dr. Farshchian’s first major medical innovation. Almost 20 years ago, he coined the term “orthopedic regenerative medicine” to describe the highly effective new treatments he developed for common ailments such as arthritis.
The Center for Regenerative Medicine is located at 1001 NE 125th Street in North Miami. For more information , call (305) 891-4686 or visit ArthritisUSA.net.