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Thread: Spinal vaccine prevents paralysis in rats (is this new?)

  1. #1
    Senior Member Jeremy's Avatar
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    Jul 2001

    Spinal vaccine prevents paralysis in rats (is this new?)

    Wednesday, 15 August 2001 0:08 (ET)

    Spinal vaccine prevents paralysis in rats

    REHOVOT, Israel, Aug. 15 (UPI) -- An experimental vaccine has proven
    effective in preventing total paralysis in rats with injured spinal cords, a
    finding researchers say suggests a similar vaccine may be used in treating
    such injuries in humans.

    Dr. Michal Schwartz of the Weizmann Institute of Science, Rehovot, said
    the vaccine can "boost the body's own immune system" to prevent progressive
    damage from spinal cord injury. Schwartz reported her findings in
    Wednesday's issue of the Journal of Clinical Investigation.

    Harvard researcher Dr. Howard Weiner said it is possible human trials of a
    spinal cord vaccine might begin in as little as two years. In the United
    States there are about 11,000 new spinal cord injuries each year with most
    occurring in men. The average age for spinal cord injury is 32.

    In an interview with United Press International, Schwartz said the
    experimental treatment is intended for patients who have incomplete spinal
    cord injury, meaning the spinal cord connection to the brain is not
    completely severed.

    Perhaps the most famous partial spinal cord injury victim is actor
    Christopher Reeve, whose 1995 fall from a horse broke two vertebrae in his
    neck and crushed his spinal cord. Although Reeve lost sensation in his arms,
    legs and torso, he did regain some function of the nerves immediately below
    the injury site.

    Unlike Reeve's accident, most incomplete spinal cord injuries occur in car
    or motorcycle accidents. The initial "insult to the spine" does not,
    however, leave the patient paralyzed. Paralysis occurs, Schwartz said, "when
    the damage spreads to fibers that were not initially injured."

    Schwartz said earlier work by her group suggested that in some people the
    immune system plays a role in limiting secondary damage from a spinal
    injury. She theorized a vaccine could effectively turbo-charge the immune
    system to make its protection more effective.

    In the experiment, Schwartz injected the vaccine into rats whose spinal
    cords were injured by a blow from a metal rod.

    "We used a single injection administered subcutaneously," Schwartz said.
    The vaccine is made of myelin peptide, one of the biologic building blocks
    that form the protein found in myelin, the protective sheath that surrounds
    nerve fibers.

    Rats injected with the vaccine immediately after a spinal injury had
    better recovery of movement and function. Moreover, the rats did not
    progress to complete paralysis, as did unvaccinated rats.

    Weiner, who was not involved in the study, said most people who have a
    spinal injury are "in the hospital being treated within less than eight
    hours of the injury" so a post-trauma vaccine is an appealing treatment

    Schwartz said the vaccine could be "administered by paramedics in an
    ambulance because we are designing the vaccine for ease of administration."

    Weiner said the vaccine being developed by Schwartz "is a promising new
    approach that offers real hope that this method may be available to help
    victims of spinal cord injury."

    The research was funded by Proneuron Ltd. and by grants from the Glaucoma
    Research Foundation and the Alan Brown Foundation for Spinal Cord Injury.

    (Reported by Peggy Peck in Cleveland.)

    Copyright 2001 by United Press International.
    All rights reserved.

  2. #2


    This is new. Michal Schwartz is extending the work that she had reported earlier that removal and activation of t-lymphocytes with myelin basic protein (MBP) fragments, followed by re-injection of the t-lymphocytes into the blood stream, is strongly neuroprotective. This is a form of ex-vivo vaccination. She now shows that if she vaccinates the animals directly with MBP fragments, this is also neuroprotective. In the coming weeks, she has another exciting finding... that calpaxone (an already approved treatment for multiple sclerosis) which mimics MBP fragments will do the same thing and she reported (in Montreal about three months ago) that this is the best therapy that she has seen yet. This has a strong potential to go into clinical trial.


  3. #3
    Senior Member Max's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2001
    Montreal,Province of Quebec, CANADA

    Wise, is it applicable to chronocs?

  4. #4


    So far the data relates to acute spinal cord injury.

  5. #5
    Senior Member kngtreeman's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    naples florida usa

    exelent news for the newbies

    i think that the possobility of this going to trial is great news.though i dont think it will do anything for the cronick injury,perhaps it may prevent many peaple from realizing the hell of sci.

    scott r

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