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Thread: Rerouting nerves to help spina bifida

  1. #1

    Rerouting nerves to help spina bifida

    Rerouting nerves to help spina bifida

    Families line up for chance to improve bladder control in young patients

    By LAURAN NEERGAARD
    Associated Press
    Monday, November 24, 2008



    WASHINGTON — It's a delicate and daring experiment: Could doctors switch a leg nerve to make it operate the bladder instead?

    Families of a few U.S. children whose spina bifida robs them of the bladder control that most people take for granted dared to try the procedure. And early results suggest the surgery indeed may help, in at least some patients.

    With the technique, pioneered in China, the kids are supposed to scratch or pinch their thigh to signal the bladder to empty every few hours. But surprisingly, some youngsters instead are starting to feel those need-to-go sensations that their birth defect had always prevented.

    "It feels like this little chill kind of thing in me," marvels 9-year-old Billy Kraser of Scranton, Pa.

    "When he goes in there and he's dry and he's clean, it's such a triumph," adds his mother, Janice Kraser. "I'll hear him going, 'Yesss!' "

    The U.S. pilot study consists of just nine spina bifida patients and still is tracking how they fare, as no one is finished healing yet. But already desperate families are lining up for a chance at this nerve rerouting, even as William Beaumont Hospital in Royal Oak, Mich., is trying to raise money to expand the study and provide better evidence.

    "If it works, it'll be a huge improvement in the management of patients with spina bifida," says Dr. Kenneth Peters, Beaumont's urology chairman, who has a waiting list of nearly 100 would-be patients.

    But "it's imperative that we prove whether this works or not" before accepting all-comers, he stresses. "I have many patients who would pay cash and have it done. I refuse to do that."

    Spina bifida occurs when the spinal column fails to close properly. It's a birth defect that affects about 1,300 babies a year, with varying degrees of leg paralysis and other problems.

    more...

    http://www.charleston.net/news/2008/...a_bifida62636/

  2. #2
    aNYONE KNOW OF RESULTS FROM THIS PROCEDURE?

  3. #3
    Senior Member Leo's Avatar
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    hi jb3822,

    i think it's Dr. Chuan-Gao Xiao

    dr. xiao was kind enough to reply to me and according to him the results are quite good and they are improving the procedure as we speak.

    the doc in article i am sure is moving as fast as possible

    i asked dr. xiao about sci and i know little about spina bifida

    hope this helps


    Quote Originally Posted by jb3822 View Post
    aNYONE KNOW OF RESULTS FROM THIS PROCEDURE?
    Last edited by Leo; 12-01-2008 at 12:29 PM. Reason: correction
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