Pioneer in the development of new technologies for the treatment of neurodegenerative diseases, the International Center for Neurological Restoration (Ciren) applies a treatment for Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s that, based on a molecule, prevents neurons from continuing the degeneration process.
Visiting Mexico, Héctor Vera Cuesta, director of Ciren, highlights the progress that the NeuroEPO substance represents, since it improves the quality of life of patients.
“The mechanism of the molecule is neuroprotective. It prevents neurons from continuing to degenerate, dying. What it does is prolong the life of these cells of the nervous system a little more, so that the symptoms are more spaced, the disease does not have such a rapid evolution, ”he explains.
The Cuban neurologist, an expert in medical genetics, affirms that the results in patients with Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s have been “spectacular.” The study began in patients with Parkinson’s and they detected that said substance improved their motor condition, but much more the cognitive part.
It is one of the molecules “that is going to give the world something to talk about. We recently published a joint article with the Cuban Neuroscience Center, which confirms, with a well-developed statistical analysis, that it is effective. No doubt”.
Vera Cuesta indicates that soon NeuroEPO may be marketed. “We want to do a phase IV (of the clinical study), because every new molecule has a rigorous research process. At this stage we want to apply it massively”.
He maintains that they are currently identifying hospitals on the island where the study will be carried out, since “it does not have secondary effects. It is very safe and very easy to administer, because it is through the nasal route, where a few drops are administered”. He clarifies that the development of this drug was carried out by Cuban biotechnology centers and Ciren tested it on patients.
Created 33 years ago by Commander Fidel Castro Ruz, non-profit and for the development of neurosciences, “at Ciren we apply a unique program in the world. We bring together 11 specialists based on a patient. It is a multidisciplinary team that attends to a patient in a comprehensive and personalized way, achieving this is very difficult” for any country in the world, but in yours it is achieved thanks to the “commitment” and the capacity of the experts.
Ciren has also developed technological and therapeutic innovations for neuronal regeneration, which includes care for patients with epilepsy, sleep disorders, addictions, such as smoking, and recently for post-Covid sequelae.
Due to the covid-19 pandemic, Ciren developed an innovative comprehensive care program for people with sequelae caused by the virus, such as severe headaches, sleep disorders, short-term memory loss, chronic fatigue and neuropathic pain (caused for damage to the nervous system), among others.
In an interview with La Jornada, at the facilities of Multisalud -a Mexican company that works with Cuban health services and Ciren-, the specialist comments that the Center has carried out neurological restoration programs for three decades, aimed at treating the sequelae of diseases that affect the nervous system, and therefore – he assures – it was not difficult for them to adapt to post-Covid care.
“The intervention has the goodness that it is not a therapeutic method, but a program, with which you can make therapies more flexible. It is individualized, it goes according to the patient’s sequelae and, based on a diagnosis, the treatment is organized.”
Vera Cuesta states that patients “do improve, but with an intensive comprehensive intervention, using all the tools that Ciren has, for example, ozone therapy, cognitive treatments and non-invasive brain stimulation, among others.”
The expert highlights that this intervention is part of a country strategy to treat the post-Covid syndrome.
“It was a gradual process in which we created the conditions in the polyclinics and clinics to identify people, because many came out of covid and later said ‘such a thing is happening to me’, we had to explain to them that they were sequels and apply the intervention to keep getting better.”
epilepsy can be cured
The doctor emphasizes that the Center is also a leader in the treatment of epilepsy with surgery. “We are not the only ones in the world that do this intervention, but our results are excellent.”
Vera Cuesta adds that “of those of us who operate, 60 percent are crisis-free, and we are talking about patients with 10 to 15 daily crises. Another 15 percent have crises that are widely spaced. In total, we have 75 percent effectiveness. These are the results of an epilepsy neurosurgery service in any developed country. It’s part of our pride.”
He further states that “you can even cure the patient, if you remove the place where the crisis is being generated.” This surgical intervention is carried out by a multidisciplinary team, since the objective is to guarantee people’s quality of life, which is why it is also performed on minors.
The scientist acknowledges that the blockade of his country, which has been going on for 60 years, has represented a challenge, because “it affects us, it limits us, but we have no other option than to continue development, because there is no sign that it will be eliminated and Cuba has to continue forward.”
He cites that for the same reason, the island developed its own vaccines against covid-19, with which practically all of the 11 million inhabitants were immunized, including children over two years of age.
Cuban medicine is accessible to foreign patients, who can go to Ciren for treatments from four to eight weeks. “Patients write to us or through our representatives we put together the files and if they meet the criteria, we give them authorization to travel to the Center”.
He details that 60 percent of the international patients that Ciren has received in the past 10 years are Mexican and announces that “there are more than five proposals from countries that want to set up Ciren clinics: Chile, Iraq, Angola and Kazakhstan. We are in the process of negotiation. It also seems right to me that we can transfer the technology that we have developed to other countries”.
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