By Zokarkan

Hi all,

Sorry to be posting this in the Dr.Davies thread, but for some reason whenever I tried to start a new thread I was always asked for my password, despite the fact that I was logged in, and just kept on bringing me back to the same page asking me for my password again! Feel free to move this to a new thread as I wasn't able to start a new one because of the above reason. I just wanted to write a little about the research group StepAhead in Australia. I made contact with these people when I was in rehab through others that were also there with me. The group was formerly known as The Spinal Cord Society of Australia (Many may thing negatively of this but this group in Australia has always had a seperate reseacrh program to the US). The group was formed by Dr.George Owen, an orthopeadic surgeon and his wife after their son suffered a cervical injury at the age of 14. The groups main focus is on chronics. A few years ago they studied bone marrow cells taken from patients in acute and chronic rats, which roughly obtained good results in both groups, although the acute groups recovery was more spontaneous than the chronic group from the beginning. They now have two research programs happening which are one being combining human bone marrow cells with decorin in chronic injuries, and the other being a spinal matrix that shall act as a scaffold to bridge the injury and allow axons to grow accross. Both of these projects have been going for about two years now and shall be completed some time next year. I'm not to sure of the results right now but have been told that things look promising. The group has set up a lab at St.Vincents hospital with the view of making it a translational lab for research to get into trials quicker. According to their website, they are aiming for chronic trials next year using the combination of the above factors. They have also added Dr.John Macdonald to their team so shall most likely be using his type of rehab programs after transplantations and such in trials. All in all I feel that this is the most promising group in Australia that can bring about a therapy the quickest in this country. Funding is again the main issue here with getting the trials going at the point in time in which they would like next year. I'm sorry for the brief summary, I was hoping to have more information, but even if I did have more I don't think that I could post it at this point in time. If anyone would like to know more about this group you can look them up on their website which is www.stepahead.org.au, or you could ask some questions on here and I could answer them if I have the answers, or if not I shall try to find them out.