Many of the cutting edge innovations in biological research involve the use of stem cells. However, one of the biggest challenges with this type of therapy is getting the new cells to thrive once implanted. In this episode of The Brain Warrior’s Way Podcast, Dr. Daniel and Tana Amen are joined by stem cell Dr. Todd Ovakaitys to discuss the theory that led to his revolutionary “a-ha” moment and a breakthrough for stem cell technology.
For more on Dr. Todd Ovakaitys, visit his page at: http://drtoddo.com/
Daniel Amen, MD:
Welcome to the Brain Warrior’s Way podcast. I’m Dr. Daniel. Amen.
Tana Amen, BSN RN:
And I’m Tana Amen. In our podcast, we provide you with the tools you need to become a warrior for the health of your brain and body.
The Brain Warrior’s Way podcast is brought to you by Amen Clinics, where we have been transforming lives for 30 years using tools like brain SPECT imaging to personalize treatment to your brain. For more information, visit amenclinics.com.
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Daniel Amen, MD: Welcome, everyone. We’re very excited this week to talk about one of the newer treatments in medicine that you probably have heard about and have a lot of questions about. So this is going to be stem cell week. And with us is a national expert, Dr. Todd Ovokaitys, who was first in his class in high school and won the coveted Bausch + Lomb Scientific and [Bucky [00:01:21] Pioneer awards. He was also first in his class at Northwestern University with the highest possible grade point average and after two years was one of 26 people accepted into an accelerated undergraduate medical training program at Johns Hopkins University and Medical School, then completed specialty training in internal medicine and subspecialty training in pulmonary and intensive care medicine at Georgetown University Hospital. He was assessed by a faculty committee as one of the best residents across the board. I was that way.
Tana Amen, BSN RN: So good.
Daniel Amen, MD: Yeah.
Tana Amen, BSN RN: [inaudible [00:02:02].
Daniel Amen, MD: He was inspired to move to California to understand energy medicine and shortly after the journey had a vision of communicating with the pure consciousness of DNA. This has resulted in co-inventing a laser-based interdimensional platform which has numerous U.S. and international patents granted in the areas of nutraceuticals, agriculture, including cannabis, and especially stem cell biology.
Tana Amen, BSN RN: Wow.
Daniel Amen, MD: He is also the composer and at times co-conductor of Lemurian Choirs that create patterns of tones and information that can accelerate expansion-
Tana Amen, BSN RN: That is so interesting.
Daniel Amen, MD: … of consciousness.
Daniel Amen, MD: I told you you were going to like him.
Tana Amen, BSN RN: Not only smart but really interesting.
Daniel Amen, MD: So, Dr. Todd, thank you so much for being on the Brain Warrior’s Way Podcast. And before we get to Dr. Todd, whatever you learn, and we have to, of course, talk about the hippocampus because it makes stem cells every day, what is the one thing you’ll learn from this podcast? And we would love for you to write it down and then take a picture of it and post it on any of your social media sites. But you’re going to learn a lot.
Tana Amen, BSN RN: Super excited about this. I have so many questions about stem cells. It’s one of those things that I think a lot of us if you got injuries or illnesses we think about doing, but then there’s so many myths and, “Is it ready?” And we have all these ideas about it, so I’m really excited about this and want to get some of those questions answered, and I’m sure you guys do, too. So don’t just post what you’ve learned. We want to know your questions as well. So we love answering those questions, and hopefully we will get some of those answers today.
Daniel Amen, MD: Great. So, Dr. Todd, tell us more about why you have just been so excited about this field.
Dr. Todd Ovokaitys: Well, my great interests, really, I would say are health, wellness, and longevity, especially as it relates to the human potential. And since I was in the eighth grade, I had this passion for DNA and understanding it in every aspect of it and had this inner knowing that if we understood everything about DNA that we’d be able to figure out how to eradicate any illness as well as to rescript our biological program, how long we can live and how youthful and healthful that we can be at it. And I-
Tana Amen, BSN RN: It’s so interesting. So most eighth grade boys are wanting to know everything they can know about girls, and you were already focused on DNA.
Dr. Todd Ovokaitys: Yeah.
Tana Amen, BSN RN: That just says you’re very different right there.
Dr. Todd Ovokaitys: Probably sadly, really. It’s true. That’s great.
Tana Amen, BSN RN: That’s wild that you were already focused that far ahead into the future.
Daniel Amen, MD: You told me you did some work at NIH as well.
Daniel Amen, MD: Was that in stem cells?
Dr. Todd Ovokaitys: Yes. That is actually where the stem cell story began. And the context was we had just created a new type of laser technology, and we can talk a little bit about that. It helps to be able to show the diagrams to understand the geometric relationships, but fundamentally what we invented was a way to recombine laser waves in a profoundly different way. So, normally, laser waves are in phase. That’s how you get a so-called amplified wave. And what we did was create an optical invention where you could recombine the waves to be exactly out of phase. So when they’re out of phase and you add them together, you actually get a sum zero of the electric and magnetic fields. And with no so-called E or B field, then the beam can go much more deeply through a medium.
Tana Amen, BSN RN: Hmm.
Dr. Todd Ovokaitys: For example, we work with red for our stem cell therapy, and the red wavelengths typically only go about five millimeters through tissue, which is not very far. Maybe a quarter inch. And when we recombine the waves in this manner, at least in theory, that wave pattern can go all the way through the body from one side to the other.
Tana Amen, BSN RN: Oh.
Dr. Todd Ovokaitys: So it’s a vibrational signal. In a sense, we convert transverse waves of electromagnetic energy, which are photons, into longitudinal waves that are more sound-like. So it’s literally called photoacoustics, or delivering a sound wave-like vector through a medium.
Tana Amen, BSN RN: [inaudible [00:07:05].
Dr. Todd Ovokaitys: Yeah. The NIH connection comes in where we built our first device, and we built it in red because it was cost effective to work at that wavelength. And the question was, will that waveform interact with anything and do anything? It might go a thousand times more deeply through a medium, but because of its structure, there might not be an effect. So the question was, will it do anything?
And I had a colleague at the NIH whose specialty was bone marrow transplantations, and she allowed us to do an experiment. And we had a technology transfer agreement with the NIH for this. And we passed the beam through a flask of stem cell-like cells, technically called KG1a cells. And we did it in a typical experiment for five minutes, 10, 15, 30, and 60 minutes. And the question was, would it do anything? So we were more than astounded. It was our Eureka OMG moment when one day later after having removed the lasers that in every single flask, from five minutes to 60 minutes, we saw visibly with the naked eye a line of cells where the beam had been.
Dr. Todd Ovokaitys: So the profundity of that was that we had stumbled upon an architecture, a vibration, a homing signal that strongly attracted stem cell-like cells to be where the beam had been and for the cells to adhere to each other, which, of course, is critically important for a stem cell to get the information or instructions of what it’s supposed to do or become in tissue. So that was the observations.
Daniel Amen, MD: And if I understand it right, what’s different about your approach with stem cells is that you basically use laser-guided technology to get the stem cells to aggregate and go where you want them to, which is very different. Actually, when I was talking to my team about having you on, I got this crazy idea that if I take a laser and shine it on the wall, I can drive my cat anywhere I want the cat to follow. This cat will just follow the laser. And I’m thinking, “I wonder if that’s similar?” That you’re not really making the cat crazy. And I’ve never heard about this before with stem cells.
Dr. Todd Ovokaitys: Right.
Daniel Amen, MD: And I’d had stem cells for my shoulder. They didn’t work, but my mom had them. And this is why your pulmonary experience was important to me. She had pneumonia every year that almost killed her for like eight straight years. And then she inhaled stem cells. And really this has not been a big health issue-
Tana Amen, BSN RN: No. She even had COVID.
Daniel Amen, MD: … for her since that.
Daniel Amen, MD: She survived COVID.
Dr. Todd Ovokaitys: Wow. Yay.
Daniel Amen, MD: You have a question?
Tana Amen, BSN RN: No, I’m just curious because of the laser-guided stem cells, because one of the things I had heard in the past is that when they inject them, many of them die. I’m wondering if the laser-guided therapy helps to preserve more of that because they’re going into one location, or a very specific location. Does it help in some way from that standpoint?
Dr. Todd Ovokaitys: It can, yes. And whether the cells live or don’t live is another set of questions about the type of cells being used.
Tana Amen, BSN RN: Ah. Okay.
Dr. Todd Ovokaitys: Yeah. And the biggest issue there is the distinction of whether the cells come from the same person, which is described as auto or autologous, or if it comes from a different person, which is called allo or allogeneic. And, in general, allogeneic stem cells, unless they are literally a perfect tissue match, will only last for a relatively short while in tissue.
Tana Amen, BSN RN: That makes sense.
Dr. Todd Ovokaitys: Yeah. So, for example, cord blood is being used relatively regularly in the U.S., and it’s actually somewhat contrary to the regulations around it, but that’s a different set of questions we might talk about. And the basic utility is that the cells not being a good match, unless it just coincidentally happened to be a close enough tissue match, that in general, those cells will only last, at most, for a few weeks in tissue. They will provide cytokines, chemicals that are growth regeneration and repair factors, and there can be benefits from that, but as far as those cells actually incorporating in tissue as new cells, that generally does not happen.
So, our work is almost exclusively now with autologous cells.
Tana Amen, BSN RN: Mm-hmm (affirmative).
Dr. Todd Ovokaitys: Cells derived from that same person prepared in a way that the cells have high viability. And we use a class of cells that is very unique that we can describe their features that are incredibly powerful, that are a perfect match for that person, that are small enough to get to the lung when you inject them and also small enough to cross the blood-brain barrier, especially when given a photoacoustic homing signal to increase the probability that they go where you want them to go. In essence, we have-
Daniel Amen, MD: And that’s what we want to talk about.
Tana Amen, BSN RN: So interesting.
Daniel Amen, MD: When we come back, we’re going to give you a primer on the science of stem cells and what you need to know. And if you learn something, hopefully you did, write it down, take a picture of it, post it, #brianwarriorswaypodcast. You can go to brainwarriorswaypodcast.com, leave us a comment, question, or a review.
Dr. Todd, we’re just so grateful.
Tana Amen, BSN RN: Yeah.
Daniel Amen, MD: How can people find more about your work?
Dr. Todd Ovokaitys: Mm-hmm (affirmative). So there’s a site that gives general information, which is drtoddo.com.
Daniel Amen, MD: Doctor T-O-D-D-O dot com?
Dr. Todd Ovokaitys: Yep.
Tana Amen, BSN RN: That’s so much easier.
Daniel Amen, MD: I love that. All right. Stay with us. We’ll be right back.
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