Paralyzed people regain sensitivity thanks to stem cells
For the first time, people with spinal cord injuries have regained sensation in areas that had paralyzed after receiving injections of stem cells derived from human fetal brain tissue. The results were presented today at the annual meeting of the International Society of Spinal Cord.
Three people received injections of 20 million cells in the region diractamente injured (spinal cord), the cells were injected between four and eight months after the lesions originated, accompanying immunosuppressive therapy to limit the rejection of the grafted cells.
At the start of treatment, none of the three patients had feeling between the navel and chest … six months after therapy, two had sensation of touch and heat in the area. Unfortunately one of three unsuccessful in treatment.
Stephen Huhn, StemCells (company that runs the project), told New Scientist that “the fact that we have seen the responses to light touch, heat and electrical impulses so low in two patients is very unexpected … Now they are very close to normal in these areas regarding their sensitivity. “
The processor is Armin Curt, Balgrist University Hospital in Switzerland, where these people also received treatment, has said that intrigue them such positive results, and yet praised the role that stem cells and now in recovery .
We still can not celebrate yet, because they are the first three of twelve patients who receive treatment (although others with less extensive paralysis), and see if there is missing the same positive trend that we saw in this first phase.
If successful, says Huhn, talking about a very great importance in donating stem cells for spinal cord injury and recovery of sensitivity.
Just a year ago it had suspended further treatment based on stem cells also for spinal injuries, and were to initiate other research more, but focusing on cancer therapies (treatment was performed here in four people), because of the high costs of research and treatment.
Both Huhn as Curt expect this achievement to renew the mood evaporated treatment after he was suspended … But again, both researchers at StemCells, like other pioneers in stem cell scientists point out that it takes a greater number of patients treated successfully to confirm whether these findings are interesting and if there may be a future in this field of medicine.
The medical potential, including commercial, is huge, let alone that gives hope to people who unfortunately suffer this type of injury.
Link: Stem cells bring back feeling for paralyzed patients (NewScientist)Tags: Medicine, paralysis, paralytic, research, stem cells, treatment