Health Editor’s Note: The ability to repair injured spinal cords is a wow moment in medical history and technology. Using a person’s own stem cells would get around any issue of rejection of the stem cells. This is a major move towards repairing the spinal cord of those who have non-penetrating spinal cord injuries…..Carol
by Lakshmi Bangalore/Yale News
Intravenous injection of bone marrow derived stem cells (MSCs) in patients with spinal cord injuries led to significant improvement in motor functions, researchers from Yale University and Japan report Feb. 18 in the Journal of Clinical Neurology and Neurosurgery.
For more than half of the patients, substantial improvements in key functions — such as ability to walk, or to use their hands — were observed within weeks of stem cell injection, the researchers report. No substantial side effects were reported.
The patients had sustained non-penetrating spinal cord injuries, in many cases from falls or minor trauma, several weeks prior to implantation of the stem cells. Their symptoms involved loss of motor function and coordination, sensory loss, as well as bowel and bladder dysfunction. The stem cells were prepared from the patients’ own bone marrow, via a culture protocol that took a few weeks in a specialized cell processing center. The cells were injected intravenously in this series, with each patient serving as their own control. Results were not blinded and there were no placebo controls.
Yale scientists Jeffery D. Kocsis, professor of neurology and neuroscience, and Stephen G. Waxman, professor of neurology, neuroscience and pharmacology, were senior authors of the study,…..read more: