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Hi Everyone, 

 

I know Dr. Rhodes has been discussed before - this is an e-mail he sent out recently - 

 

 

South Texas Innovative Medicine

Donald A. Rhodes, D.P.M., F.A.C.F.A.S.

Diplomate American Board of  Podiatric Surgery

6001 B South Staples

Corpus Christi, Texas 78413

(361) 992-9432 * Fax (361) 992-3978

 

Season’s Greetings!  Several weeks ago we mentioned that we were sending out surveys to the patients with Muscular Dystrophy.  We had hoped to release the results of these surveys sooner but gathering the information and compiling the data took longer than expected.  We apologize for the delay.

 

I recently had the pleasure of speaking with Dr. Sharon Hesterlee from PPMD.  During our conversation, Dr. Hesterlee expressed concern that we were relying upon subjective data to evaluate the efficacy of the VECTTOR system.  Dr. Hesterlee wondered if there was any form of objective testing that we could do in the clinic, which would help back up the subjective reports. The difficulty we currently face, aside from lack of funding, is the limited amount of time that the patients actually spend at the clinic. 

 

One of the major improvements of VECTTOR over STS is the ability to self modulate.  This eliminates the need for patients to have to return to our clinic for periodic updates.  Unfortunately, this also limits our ability to evaluate the patients with objective testing over a period of time.  The few days patients are required to be at the clinic are just not enough time to show much change objectively. 

 

However, following my discussion with Dr. Hesterlee, it occurred to me that we do have the ability to retrospectively analyze the temperature data obtained from the patients during their treatments at the clinic.

 

One sign of oxidative stress is diminished skin temperature in the hands and feet, particularly in the fingers and toes.  In our clinic, a handheld infrared temperature sensor is utilized to accurately evaluate the skin temperatures of the fingers and toes.  The temperature of the fingers and toes is obtained prior to and after the 80 minutes of VECTTOR treatment.

 

Reported in the results below are the analyzed skin temperatures of the first 23 DMD children treated in our clinic.  Also reported below are results demonstrating significant decreases in the blood level of TNF alpha of the three children who were tested before and after their first VECTTOR treatment.

 

We have also included the initial results from the survey we sent out several weeks ago.  This survey requested various subjective answers but also includes reports from physicians and/or physical therapists who made their own observations, independent of South Texas Innovative Medicine.  

Our goal in obtaining this data was to get a better idea of the level of response of these original patients as a whole, but also to try to gain insight as to why some patients do better than others.  We realize that much of this data is still very subjective, but without funding, we are limited as to what we can do at this time.

 

Finally, please remember that these are just the initial results.  We will be evaluating other factors such as steroid use, supplement use, etc. to try to gain further insight.  We will share these results as they become available.


As always, please feel free to contact me with any questions.


Donald A. Rhodes, D.P.M., F.A.C.F.A.S.

Skin Temperatures

Analysis of the first 23 children with DMD seen in our clinic involved a total of 475 evaluations of hand and foot temperatures before and after 80 minutes of VECTTOR treatment.  The average finger temperature increased 3.98 degrees Fahrenheit.  The average toe temperature increased 6.71 degrees Fahrenheit.

 

The average skin temperature increases in degrees Fahrenheit created by 80 minutes of VECTTOR treatment for the different age groups was as follows:

 

Age in years

Hands

Feet

# of children

< 6

3.41

8.05

4

6 to 8

4.49

7.37

9

9 to 10

8.44

7.01

3

11 to 15

(3.51)

1.73

3

> 15

5.70

7.39

4

 

 

The highest individual patient average skin temperature increases in degrees Fahrenheit created by 80 minutes of VECTTOR treatment for the different age groups was:

 

Age in years

Hands

Feet

 

 

< 6

7.34

17.3

6 to 8

11.79

7.39

9 to 10

12.57

7.00

11 to 15

-0.32

4.34

> 15

7.62

16.16

 

TNF alpha

 

 

So far we have had three children who have had TNF alpha blood levels obtained prior to and immediately after their initial VECTTOR treatment. 

 

The average decrease in the blood TNF alpha level was 29% with 1 hour and 20 minutes of treatment. 

 

The three children were a 17 year old boy  who had >33% decrease in blood TNF alpha, a 10 year old boy who had a 30% decrease in blood TNF alpha, and 12 year boy old boy who had a 23% decrease in blood TNF alpha. 

 

We realize this is only a small sample but feel the results are interesting enough to warrant further evaluation. 

 

 

Survey Results

 

Questionnaires were sent out by our clinic to the 34 patients utilizing VECTTOR treatments for Muscular Dystrophy.  Of these 34 patients, 29 had Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy.  One of the patients with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy had discontinued utilizing this treatment due to extenuating circumstances.  His parents plan to resume treatments at the beginning of the year but stated that they did not feel that they could fairly answer questions regarding the effectiveness of the treatment, since they had not been utilizing VECTTOR.  Therefore, of the 29 questionnaires sent out for DMD children, 28 were answered. 

  

Please note, the results below only pertain to the patients with DMD.  Since the initial survey was distributed we have 11 additional children with DMD are now utilizing VECTTOR treatments.  They are not included in this survey. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

DMD Subjective Evaluations

Parent/Patient Survey

 

If the patient’s muscles were hypertrophic before beginning VECTTOR treatment, have you noticed a “softening” of the affected muscles? 

0%  Harder        11%   No Softer      43%   Slightly Softer       46%    Significantly Softer

Text Box: Hypertrophic Muscles before beginning VECTTOR


Has the patient lost or lessen

Lost or Lessened Ability

 

ed the ability to do things that they could do prior to treatment? 

89%  No          

11%   Yes    

 

 

 

*Please note that no child less than 15 years old answered yes to this question.  

 

 

 

Has the patient gained the ability to do things that they could not do prior to treatment? 

Gained Ability to do Things (All Respondents)

 

 


All Respondents:

 

68%  Yes       

 

32%  No

 

 

Of the 9 children 12 ye

Gained Ability to do Things (12 years old and older)

 

ars old and older:

 

56%  Yes

44%  No

 

 

 

If the patient had constipation before beginning VECTTOR treatment, has the patient noticed an improvement?

Constipation before VECTTOR treatment

 

57%   Not applicable 

 

43%   Applicable 

 

 

 

Of those applicable:

16%   No Improvement    42%   Slight Improvement    42%   Significant Improvement


 

 

 

 

 

Compared to before you or your child started VECTTOR, how does the patient feel overall? 

0% Much Worse            0% Worse      32% About the Same    39% Better    29% Much Better

 

How does the Patient feel after using VECTTOR

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Compared to before you or your child started VECTTOR, how is the patient sleeping? 

0% Much Worse   7% Worse      50% About the Same      29% Better      14% Much Better

Text Box: How is the Patient sleeping since beginning VECTTOR


 

 

 

Summation of treatment

Age of patient and duration of treatment       

Please note that the original four patients with DMD started treatments prior to VECTTOR becoming available.    These children were treated with the Dynatron STS along with manual temperature reading, which is now done automatically by VECTTOR.

3 ½ year old [<3 months treatment]    The patient’s father stated that his son can climb stairs, generally has more strength, and has better balance.  His son can now run around playground, climb up ladders, and slide down slides. 

5 year old [<3 months treatment]    Medical Evaluation:  The physical therapist noted that the patient’s heels now touch the floor when walking.

5 year old [<6 months treatment]     The patient’s father states that he runs better, walks longer, and he can jump now whereas he could not before VECTTOR.  Medical Evaluation:  The physical therapist was very impressed by the running and jumping abilities of the patient, especially considering he is taking no steroids.  The physicians are no longer saying that steroids are necessary (steroids had not yet been prescribed). 

5 year old  [<3 months treatment]   The patient’s mother states that before VECTTOR, he was not able to jump at all. In the past is appeared that his feet were glued to the floor.  After one month of treatment, he clearly “cleared” the floor.  The patient’s mother stated that he is less tired and more agile overall.  Medical Evaluation:  The physical therapist observed that the patient could jump forward across a line.

5 year old [<3 months treatment]     The patient’s mother states that he seems to be walking with more stability and getting up from the ground quicker.  He can now jump into the air with both feet, which could not do before starting VECTTOR.

6 year old [>2 years treatment]        The patient’s father states that he can now run, jump, and participate in sports.            Medical Evaluation:  After 6 months of treatment the radiologist report of the MRI noted pathological fatty intrusion into the leg muscles (Unfortunately, we do not have an MRI prior to beginning treatment).  One year later, with continued treatment, the radiologists noted that the MRI showed decreased fatty intrusion into the leg muscles.  Two years later, with continued treatment, the radiologist noted that the MRI remained the same as the year before.

6 year old [<3 months treatment]     The patient’s mother states that he is able to jump on one foot.  Before VECTTOR, he could not do this.  Medical Evaluation: The physical therapist stated that the calf measurements have decreased and there was more flexing of the calf muscles with ankle movement.

6 year old [<6 months treatment]     The patient’s mother wrote that her son can jump, run, and climb stairs; since beginning VECTTOR.  He has more confidence in himself and is more independent.  He can get into their van by himself.  He can climb up and down the four steps to the house, without any help.  He does not tire easily anymore.  When they go to the store, he now walks instead of riding in the cart.  He doesn’t want to use his special needs stroller any longer.  Now, he wants to enroll in Karate lessons. Medical Evaluation:  The patient is doing well.  Therefore, the patient’s primary caregiver has reduced Deflazacort from 15 mg to 7 mg per day.

 7 year old [<6 months treatment]    The patient’s father states that his son can now jump, hop, run, and get off the floor much better than before VECTTOR.  Medical Evaluation:  The physical therapist said that he no longer demonstrates Gower’s and that he can now hop, jump, and run.  The physical therapist said that there was a “huge improvement” and taped the testing on video.

 7 year old [<6 months treatment]    The patient’s mother states that he is walking better and running a little better.            Medical Evaluation:  The physical therapist noted that the calf circumference was significantly decreased.

 7 year old [<3 months treatment]    The patient’s mother stated that the patient can now jump and walks without “waddling”.  The patient can get off the floor without a Gower’s sign. Medical Evaluation:  The patient’s physician has decided to take him off steroids to see if the improvements continue without steroids.   In addition, the steroids are “affecting his behavior very badly” and the physician felt that the lack of steroid would improve his behavior.  The physician stated that the patient’s reflexes are markedly improved.                     

 7 year old [> 1 year ]  The patient’s mother states that he can run with a stronger gait – less waddling and that he is much faster when he runs. He can get up off the floor one leg at a time now. He can take off on one leg, jump over a small obstacle and land on the opposite leg. Also, if he has a cramping episode, she can put him on the machine for 10 minutes, and the cramps disappear. Lastly – The patient’s mother states “he used to have good days and bad days that were very noticeable. Now, he only has good days.”     

8 year old [<3 months treatment]     The patient’s mother states that her son’s jumping is improved and uses less Gower’s when rising from the floor.  Medical Evaluation:  The physical therapist noted that the patient’s ankle and knee range of motion significantly improved even after only 2 weeks of VECTTOR.  School teachers have noticed that he is walking better with more heel contact with the floor.

8 year old [<3 months treatment]     The patient’s mother states that her son’s balance is better, since beginning VECTTOR.  Now, he can jump and ride a bicycle and is able to get off the floor without using his hands.                      

8 year old [<6 months treatment]     The patient’s father states that his son has neither gained nor lost functions.             

9 year old [<3 months treatment]     The patient’s mother states that he can get out of his bed significantly better than before VECTTOR.  He now can sit up straighter and has better stamina.  As of yet he cannot stand, walk, or climb stairs.  However, he can lift his hips up while in a laying down position, which he definitely could not do before VECTTOR.       Medical Evaluation:  The physical therapist noted an increased range of motion in the hip joints and that the arms are able to flex better.  The physical therapist noted that the patient can lift his head better than before VECTTOR.

10 year old [>6 months treatment]   The patient’s father states that although he has not gained functions, he has maintained his strength and function.            Medical Evaluation:  The radiologist stated that the MRI has not changed in 7 months with no improvement nor worsening.

10 year old [<3 months treatment]   The patient’s mother states that he has neither gained nor lost functions.                

11 year old [<6 months treatment]   The patient’s parent states that previously, blood pressure was very high but normalized following the first VECTTOR treatment and has remained normal as long as he continues to use VECTTOR.  Medical Evaluation:  Physical therapist noted significant improvement in joint range of motion and “considerable” increased upper body strength.           

12 year old [<3 months treatment]   Before VECTTOR, the patient was unable to get into or out of a car.  However, now he can.  Medical Evaluation:  The patient’s pediatrician stated that there was significant improvement of the patient including softening of the calf muscle.

12 year old [>6 months treatment]   The patient’s father wrote that he has neither gained nor lost functions.                 

15 year old [<6 months treatment]   The patient’s mother states that her son has had significant upper arm strength decrease and some lower leg strength decrease.    However, over the past few months, the patient has significantly decreased the daily intake of steroids.                      

17 year old [>2 years treatment]   The patient’s father states that his son’s muscles slowly continue to weaken.

17 year old [<6 months treatment]   The patient’s father states that the contractures at knees have decreased so that knee extension has increased from 43 degrees to 85 degrees.  The patient can now move his legs and lift feet and legs on and off the wheelchair footplates.  The patient can do a couple of sit ups from lying position, which would have been impossible before VECTTOR.  The range of motion has increased in the leg and arm joints.  The patient has increased strength in his legs.  The patient now can stand with the help of a stander, with partial weight-bearing on the feet, with no braces.     Medical Evaluation:  A recent cardiac test showed “a reversal of hardening of the rear wall of the heart”.

18 year old [<6 months treatment]   Medical Evaluation:  The physical therapist did not note any changes.

19 year old [<6 months treatment]   The patient’s mother states that he no longer utilizing bi-pap.  He has better circulation and no longer has cold or blue toes, even in extremely cold weather.  She states that his muscle strength is improving throughout the body and that he has increased mobility of joints throughout the body.  He can now use both hands to eat, shave, brush teeth, etc.  He now can pull upper body/neck/head away from wheelchair rest and hold for more than 20 sec.  For the first time in years, he has the strength in his hands and feet to put on gloves and boots.  In addition, with increased skin temperatures, he is able to go out in the extremely cold weather.  He could not have done this before VECTTOR.   Medical Evaluation:  Their respiratory physician noted that the diaphragm was in a more normal location. Their cardiologist noted marked overall improvement and a slight normalizing of the thickened aorta.  In December, there was an 8% improvement on all of his PT measurements.  This was the largest improvement since starting VECTTOR and occurred in a 30 day period. In addition, strength was gained in his arms and even more strength was gained in his legs.

19 year old [>2 year treatment]   The patient’s father states that he has gained and lost functions.  In 2009, with STS, he gained the ability to walk unaided in, but then lost it. He gained it again after starting the VECTTOR in Feb. of 2010 and then lost it.  The patients father states “2 weeks ago he was walking 50-70 feet non-stop. Now he can’t do this. Next week he may do it again.”

* Please note that, over the last year, the patient has significantly decreased the daily intake of steroids under the guidance of his primary care physician.

Medical Evaluation:  The patient’s neurologist, on multiple occasions, noted that muscle strength sometimes was better and sometimes worse.

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