"Eyesight" is the ability to see while "Vision" is the ability to understand what you see.

What is the optic nerve?

A large collection of communication wires to the brain (optic nerve). the optic nerve develops in the 7 to 8th weeks of pregnancy.

What is optic nerve hypoplasia?

Hypoplasia is a medical term for underdevelopment therefore optic nerve hypoplasia means underdevelopment of the optic nerve. When the optic nerve is underdeveloped it has fewer wires than it should have connecting the visual information recieved by the retina to the brain and this means that that not all of the visual information gets to the brain.

How does this affect vision?

It depends upon how underdeveloped the optic nerve is.

The doctor will compare the horzontal optic disc diameter to the distance between the optic nerve and Macula (a tiny point on the retina). From this the doctor will work out a ratio that can help assess the visual acuity of young children and babies.

How is it diagnosed?

An eye doctor, ophthalmoglist, will look though a special machine at the back of the eye. Here they will see the "head" of the optic nevre. This is where the wires going to collect together to go to the brain. From this view the opthalmoglist will take the measurements mentioned above. if the optic nerve looks small then the child has optic nerve hypoplasia.

Optic nerve hypoplasia is not a progressive condition, and it cannot be cured. However, as the childs' eye matures, there may be a slight improvement in visual funtion and nystagmus may be reduce.

What is Septo-Optic Dysplasia?

Septo-optic dysplasia (SOD) is a rare disorder characterized by abnormal development of the optic disk, pituitary deficiencies, and often agenesis (absence) of the septum pellucidum (the part of the brain that separates the anterior horns or the lateral ventricles of the brain). Symptoms may include blindness in one or both eyes, pupil dilation in response to light, nystagmus (a rapid, involuntary to-and-fro movement of the eyes), inward and outward deviation of the eyes, hypotonia (low muscle tone), and hormonal problems. Seizures may also occur. In a few cases, jaundice (prolonged yellow skin discoloration) may occur at birth. Intellectual problems vary in severity among individuals. While some children with SOD have normal intelligence, others have learning disabilities and mental retardation. Most, however, are developmentally delayed due to vision impairment or neurological problems.

Is there any treatment?

Treatment for SOD is symptomatic. Hormone deficiencies may be treated with hormone replacement therapy. The optical problems associated with SOD are generally not treatable. Vision, physical, and occupational therapies may be required.

What is the prognosis?

The prognosis for individuals with SOD varies according to the presence and severity of symptoms.

Stem Cells Print E-mail

Stem cells have the remarkable potential to develop into many different cell types. Working as a sort of repair system for the body, they can theoretically divide without limit to replenish other cells, at the sole condition that the receiving person is alive. When a stem cell divides, each new cell has the potential to either remain a stem cell or become another type of cell with a more specialized function, such as a muscle cell, a red blood cell, or a brain cell.

Stem Cells Preparation

Umbilical cord blood from healthy full term newborns with healthy mothers is the only source of Beike’s stem cells.

Given the woman’s consents to donate her umbilical cord, immediately after the delivery authorized hospital personnel insert a needle into the cord’s vein and the blood is drawn, normally from 80 to 140 ml - approximately 2 thimbles. The cord blood is then put into a small, sterile pouch with an anticoagulant to prevent clotting. The pouch contains from 100,000 to 300,000 stem cells.

The umbilical cord blood is then immediately sent to the city government blood bank for testing. First of all, a medical history of the mother is reviewed. Then, the blood is tested to insure that no genetic disorders, microbiological contamination and/or hereditary diseases exist, such as HIV, Syphilis, CMV, HTLV and Hepatitis. Provided the blood passes all tests, it receives a certification of purity and is then transferred to Beike laboratory.

Here, the blood is tested one more time to confirm the blood banks results. This double check ensures total safety to our patients. After the blood has been cleared it undergoes a process known as Magnetic Washing, aimed at removing all material except the specifically desired stem cells by means of magnetic beads coated with antibodies to stem cell antigens.

When this immunomagnetic separation is done, stem cells are then cultured in a solution containing nutrients and growth factors, but no animal products or by-products: this medium is changed every 1 or 2 days. The cells proliferate for 7 to 10 days under continuous control: if there is any sign of unwanted behaviour or contamination, the entire batch is immediately destroyed.

The cells are harvested at the optimum point, i.e. before they start differentiating into specialized cells. At this phase, they normally count from 7 to 10 million. The cells pass through another washing process to remove all growth medium and particles, and we have finally obtained extremely pure stem cells ready for transfusion. If they are not to be used immediately, they are frozen in liquid nitrogen.

Stem cells from umbilical cord blood have the advantage of a “"naïve"” immune status: in other words, they won't attack the recipient person. In case a rejection were to occur anyway, there are treatments to handle it.

In front of a GVHD (Graft Versus Host Disease: a potentially fatal rejection case) the patient undergoes an immunosuppressive therapy, but we must point out that GVHD has never been an issue with the type of cells (umbilical) we are discussing.

The most common and frequent issue is a slight histamine response within the body which can elevate the patient's temperature: a situation that is quickly and easily handled. The range of treatment options for this issue varies from mild anti-inflammatory drugs such as Tylenol to stronger histamine suppressants such as Bynadryl. As far as the risk of death is concerned, there has never been a single case reported.
Since 2001 Beike has treated hundreds of patients with umbilical cord stem cells. During the first years we used adult neural stem cells and fetal stem cells too, but eventually Beike has found that umbilical cord stem cells are the most effective, safe and tested - and decided to focus on them only.






Upon arrival at the hospital you will undergo a Standard Test.
Anyway, we are fully aware that for some of our patients such a long trip could be an ordeal: if this is your case just tell us and you'll have a full day (or two) to rest and get settled in, before passing the Standard Test.

This Test is very important: we have to check your health and all the details of your condition. It usually includes blood, urine, stool, blood pressure, mobility, an ultrasound, an EMG and a breath test. You also will undergo a Magnetic Resonance or CT scan if appropriate and if you do not already have a recent one. 
When the Standard Test is over and all the results are available, you will rest for a couple of days, and after that you will receive your first stem cells transplant.
Important: the stem cells can be injected in two ways.
-   Direct injection into the spinal fluid
-   IV (intravenous) in your hand.
Beike's doctors will give you their own opinion and advice above the method that should be followed, but if you are not comfortable with the idea of a needle into your spinal cord you have the possibility to ask for simple IV's.   

In case you accepted the idea of receiving direct injections, please don't worry: the procedure is obviously done under local anesthesia. The only "pain" you'll feel will last from 15 to 30 seconds and is due to the anesthetic liquid itself, before it acts. Immediately after, the needle enters to drain out some spinal fluid, that will then be replaced by stem cells. Usually done around 3:30 p.m., the process takes 30 minutes or so. You will receive nerve growth factors, too: they boost and stimulate the growth of the stem cells.
Whatever the kind of treatment chosen (injection into the spinal fluid or IV), it will be repeated at every 4 to 5 days up to a total of 4 times until the course is over. The entire cure takes from 20 to 25 days.   
Depending on the disease, after the first injection you may (or may not) feel some changes. When the treatment is over, a final series of tests will be done. You'll be given a copy of the results to take home with you. You will be interviewed at the end of your stay to gauge the improvement.
Important: a rehabilitation therapy is integral to our stem cells treatment. The exercises  and programs are customized for each individual patient. The rehabilitation normally takes from 2 to 4 hours,  4 to 6 days per week, depending on the patient’s conditions and ability to participate. (Sunday’s off).  

Beike Europe’s will is to avoid your disappointment and avert any possible future complaint: hence, before going to China both patient and his or her caretakers should learn by heart a basic concept of paramount importance, i.e.

the hospitals’ habits in China are very different from ours.

In Europe we are prone to take for granted a lot of things that down there (let’s say in nearly all Asia) are not. The reason is easy to understand: while european hospitals take an overall care of the patient (i.e. from medical aspects to more mundane necessities of the hospitalization period), the chinese hospitals only provide the sheer medical assistance: of course the patient is given a room, but nothing more.

A very easy way to fully grab the important consequences deriving from such a difference is to play yourself this sort of mental trick:

Please consider yours not as the classical "hospitalization", but rather as "a period, aimed at a clinical treatment, spent in a mini-apartment attached to an hospital"

This is not absurd nor difficult: if you will be able to merge yourself into such a point of view, you'll consequently and with no effort understand that yes, the hospital will cure you - but it will be up to you and your caregivers to take care of the other practical necessities, from food downwards. 

Let's make some examples:

--- Each and every patient has to provide for towels, personal hygiene products, etc. - in a word, all that is needed for bathroom.

--- Same situation for the food. In Europe it is either served in your room or -provided your physical conditions allow you to do so- you can eat at the hospital’s refectory. In any case, food is considered as integral to the standard service provided by whatsoever hospital. In China things go in a different way, and it’s up to the patient and his caretakers to think about it. The food has to be bought outside.

--- Here in Europe we are accustomed to see in our hospitals a member of the staff that -depending on the local language- is either called Nurse’s Aid, Cure Assistant or something similar. In any case, we are talking about a person who takes a very close care of the patient, helping him out in all possible ways: bathroom, hygiene, getting up from the bed, etc. Mind you, chinese hospital usages simply do not foresee such a role. Useless to say, there are very professional Nurses, but they strictly perform their proper role as paramedics. They give medications, do injections and so on: in a word, whatever implies a certain degree of medical skill, but do not expect them to do more than this. As a consequence, the chores of the “typical european Cure Assistant” entirely fall on patient’s family members, relatives or caretakers. No exception to this rule is made for the westerners.

--- Chinese hospitals haven’t got their own inner laundry service. It goes without saying that it is surely possible to have such a service anyway, but your dirty laundry will be collected by the personnel of a reliable city laundry: as a consequence, this will cost you something.

We could go on with more similar examples, but we think this should be enough: we’re pretty sure you understood the way things go. We are aware that this is simply unthinkable in Europe, but in China it’s absolutely normal: should you complain about this situation with some member of the hospital staff, that person won’t simply understand what are you complaining about, that’s it.

Mind you, this has got nothing to do with the quality of the medical care that you will receive, nor with the absolute cleanliness of the place: the Zhejiang Xiaoshan hospital is a modern structure with state-of-the-art equipments and procedures, and it has been highly praised by whoever has been treated there. Nevertheless, dear patient, from a service point of view you should please never, ever forget that

you must not look forward for an european standard, you better cope with local one.

Given this, two important issues:

1 – Please bring with you a certain amount of extra money in cash, in order to pay for all the extras. The bright side of this situation is that the cost of life in China is extremely low in comparison with Europe’s, hence you won’t spend that much (see
Extra Costs) : the amount of extra cash money we recommend is normally sufficient. It goes without saying that if you’re going to eat every day in fancy downtown restaurants, buy a lot souvenirs, in a word if you will allow yourself the best, well - you’d better bring a larger amount of money with you.

2 – Just a few members (namely, some of the doctors) of the hospital staff are truly proficient in English. No one there speaks German, French, Portuguese, Flemish etc. Let’s assume now that your native language is not English or that you can’t speak it anyway: then please be sure that at least one of your caregivers does, lest you want to feel stranded in China with no chance of communicating with the persons who are treating you.

If neither patient nor caregivers speak English, we regret to inform you that no Translation Service is currently provided by Beike Europe. To do so, we must find out professional and reliable translators in China, and it’s no easy task. Anyway, when we will be finally able to find out the right persons, their work will be one more extra issue at your own cost.



Basic treatment program

24.000 (twenty-four thousand)
From 20 to 25 days / between 40 and 60 million cells

The price includes:
  • the stay in the hospital for you and your caregiver
  • four injections of umbilical cord stem cells with each injection containing between 10 and 15 million cells. Injections are given by IV and/or into the spinal fluid
  • a 6 days per week rehabilitation therapy
  • initial check-up and round-the-clock medical assistance
  • transportation to and from the airport
We have a special package price for a six injections program at 32.000 (thirty-two thousand), that must be arranged at the time of your booking. This will require additional time to be spent in the hospital, possibly a full four weeks.

Spinal cord injury treatment program

28.000 (twenty-eight thousand)
From 20 to 25 days

There are two types of treatments for spinal patients.
One program involves surgery with direct stem cell application plus three stem cell injections. The other program does not include surgery and involves five or six stem cell injections. Injections are given by IV and/or into the spinal fluid.

Which treatment program a patient receives will be evaluated by Beike’s Lead Medical Consultant in conjunction with the client’s personal medical consultant. Mind you, should the "surgery + injections" procedure be chosen, the patient will be automatically assigned to 463 Hospital in Shenyang, and his hospitalization will last 30 days. If after the initial check-up the treating physicians should decide that such a procedure is better avoided, the patient will receive a six injections treatment.

Both options have the same price, including:
  • the stay in the hospital for you and your caregiver
  • three (or five, depending on the program chosen) injections of umbilical cord stem cells with each injection containing between 10 and 15 million cells. Injections are given by IV and/or into the spinal fluid
  • a 6 days per week rehabilitation therapy
  • initial check-up and round-the-clock medical assistance
  • transportation to and from the airport

Facultative extra costs

- Additional injections, to be booked
at least one month prior to treatment on a case by case basis depending on room availability, cost 4.500 (four thousand five hundred)  each. Each injection may require an additional 2-5 days in the hospital. This option is only available to patients already participating in a full treatment program.

- If you opt for additional injections outside of the above parameters and/or during your hospital stay, they will cost 5.000 (five thousand)  each. This may require an additional time in the hospital and/or that you stay in a nearby hotel, which will be at your own cost. This option is only available to patients already participating in a full treatment program. - In case the patient wishes, it's possible to boost the injections' action by means of an Optional Bone Marrow Surgery, whose extra cost is 4.800 (four thousand eight hundred) . This optional surgery is only available at 463 Hospital in Shenyang. This surgery is not suitable for children, and only available to those patients already undergoing a full treatment program.
- If for some reason you opt to extend your stay in the hospital, you will be charged an additional 200 (two hundred) € (Euros) per day for hospital fees.

- Transportation to and from the airport is normally done by van and it’s included in the fee. Should the patient’s conditions require it, an Ambulance is available: you are kindly requested to book this service in advance. Please mind that such transportation implies an extra cost of 600 (six hundred)  per trip (one way), i.e. a complete service (Ambulance on both arrival and departure) will cost you 1.200 (one thousand two hundred).
- Finally: if during your hospital stay you should become ill and/or require medical treatment as a result of something other than an issue related to the stem cells treatment, you will be responsible for the payment to the hospital for the necessary additional care.

Very important, please note
  • The treatment is provided by the hospital under its own responsibility
  • Upon reservation confirmation (i.e. when you will be told the dates of your treatment period) you are required to pay 20% of the amount. The remaining 80% has to be paid at least one month prior to your departure. Should you fail to do so, your reservation will be cancelled.
  • Should you decide to cancel your reservation for whatsoever reason, the prepaid 20% will be retained as a waiver for administrative expenses.
  • The above mentioned prices are valid from January 10th 2008.
  • Prices are reviewed on a quarterly basis and are therefore subject to change.
  • The program time frames and the minimum number of injections are firm and not negotiable.
  • The above mentioned prices are valid for all patients living within the limits of Beike Europe's area, with no exceptions. Should you notice some differences between our prices and those applied in other geographic areas, this is due to specific local agreements signed by Shenzen Beike Biotechnologies, Co. Ltd.
In order to pay for whatever is not included in the prepaid hospital fee (i.e. buying food, laundry service, drinks, snacks, city restaurants, sightseeing, taxi, etc.) bring at least 1000 (one thousand) € (Euro) in cash. This amount should be more than sufficient to cover the needs of two people for a period of one month. 

No foreign currency is directly accepted in China, hence you'll pay all the little extras in local currency, namely Yuan. Actually, the official name for chinese currency would be Ren Min Bi (meaning "People's Money", shortened in RMB) but everybody, especially on streets and shops, calls it Yuan or even Kwhy.
Don't worry anyway, you will not need to spend any money upon arrival: take yor time, settle in, and the day after we will take you to the bank to change your euros. The exchange rate is about 10 yuan for 1 euro. 100€ correspond to 1000RMB.
Don't count too much on your credit cards while here, since international credit cards in China are only welcome at top class restaurants and big shopping centers. Bring them with you anyway, since at many banks you most likely will also be able to withdraw chinese money upon presentation ofinternational cards like Visa and Mastercard.

Forget your Travellers Checks, they are difficult to use in China.
You can find out more information and see the success stories on www.stemcellschina.com
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