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Thread: Any hope?

  1. #1
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    Any hope?

    My wife has a complete injury at T12, we were told it was the worst injury Vanderbilt had ever seen. Her spinal cord was severed. Is there any hope that even Stem Cells would work on this type of injury? (Just a note, as I mentioned above, the neurosurgeon who fused my wifes back, stated the cord was completely severed. However, my wifes OBGYN...same hospital disagreed, is there anyway to tell?)

  2. #2
    Senior Member DA's Avatar
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    bob,
    there is a lot more out there then just stem cells. stem cell alone will not reverse your wife paralysis. it will take a combination of different therapies. the bad news, those therapies aren't ready yet. the good news, those therapies should work when they become available. your goal should be to learn those new therapies. keep your wife healthy. when you understand the new therapies, get involved with speeding up the date they do become available.
    what we, the sci cure community, lack is money, political clout, and media coverage, and pressure to apply on researchers to move faster. any ideas bob?

  3. #3
    Senior Member rdf's Avatar
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    I echo what DA says, Bob. And your wife's injury may be easier to cure than the most common, which is a contusion type injury. I believe that most animal tests use the severed injury model.

    The cure is coming, the knowledge is here, it's getting the knowledge into practical application, i.e. human clinical trials to see what actually works and what doesn't, that is holding us up. Keep hope alive and strong, and good luck to you and your wife.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Jeff's Avatar
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    Bob

    A severed cord due to a clean laboratory incision is actually easier to fix than a contusion injury. One of the plusses is that it leaves a gap between the two halves of the cord where an OEG cell matrix can be applied. OEG are, right now, our best bet for regenerating the spinal cord.

    Your wife's injury probably has elements of both being severed and also crush or contusion characteristics, depending on how it happened. This means it might not be quite as easy to fix as the injury models used in the lab. I'm sure she'll be a candidate for some functional return, however, and certainly will have the advantage of having a ready made place to apply whatever cell matrix will be used. And therapies will continue to improve over the next decade to include combination and serial therapy along with new ways to treat the cord. Hopefully one day a simple injection is all that will be needed!

    ~See you at the SCIWire-used-to-be-paralyzed Reunion ~

  5. #5
    Senior Member bill j.'s Avatar
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    Bob, if your wife's injury is recent, you should look at the clinical trials that are available. There is a list of them on this WEB site.

    A scientist in Austraila, Jike Lu, actually cut out a chunck of a rat spinal cord and later applied OEG cells and the rat recovered some function. So a severed spinal cord is not the end of the world. It will likely respond to therapies that are in the research pipeline.

    Bill

  6. #6
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    re: any ideas

    Well, yes I do have a few. Here in TN police officers training pay is paid directly from % of drivers license renewal fees. I think that "we" should join forces and pester the hell out of our individual state legislature's to pass a bill requiring .01% of all renewal fees go toward FDA approved research. We should start with individual states first, if we get just one state out of 50, thats enough to get the ball rolling. Then start with the US Congress, ask for a check off on tax returns likefor the presidential race check off. This may seem small % but the $$ will add up fast, to keep it rolling in the states will force research, the $$ will by pass the tree huggers right over there heads. I am determined to cure my wife, shes 28 college graduate, we have a new baby, i went to work...i'm a F/F, a tornado struck our house and killed my father in law, hurt my wife and obliterated our house. I am determined to help my wife. I will pester the heck out of everyone till its done, this is rediculous....cure SC in rats but don't help people because of some healthy persons objection to using things that they are throwing out anyway? Thats hypocritical at best.

  7. #7
    Super Moderator Sue Pendleton's Avatar
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    Queest For the Cure

    http://carecure.rutgers.edu/Quest/QuestHome.html

    This site hasn't been updated for awhile but we're getting to it soon. These are active states or states that have passed laws much like you have thought of, Bob. Kentucky collects about $2.5 to $3 million a year in surcharges to speeding tickets. Maryland takes a cut off of the taxes that health insurers pay on premiums they collect, New York gets a flat $8.5 million a year from the general fund.

    I'd suggest calling your local state senator and/or representative/delegate or whatever you call them in Tennessee and find out if there is anything currently being done in TN for SCI. You might also want to try calling the head of Vanderbuilt University's Neuroscience Department and offer your help as a newbie to fundraising.

  8. #8

    Bob

    There's always hope.

    Hang in there, be proactive, learn all you can, educate others, create awareness, raise money and advocate progress.

    Science is amazing. We need to support, prod and apply the knowledge.

    Onward and Upward!

  9. #9
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    Myself being a complete t12, Your wife should focus on maximizing the muscles she has left. She can do situps, due to the fact that her abs are working. Being a T12 does allow a person to get in the best possible shape and achieve 100% independence. Do not count on a cure in the near future, she still has enough left to live a fulfilling life. She has more options out there more than ever!

  10. #10
    Bob,

    Many neurosurgeons use the word "transected" loosely. It is an extremely rare event. The word means that the spinal cord has been cut through with two ends not in contact. An MRI often cannot detect this. I would suggest that you do the following:
    1. talk to the neurosurgeon again and make sure that you ask the surgeon why he thinks the spinal cord has been transected, whether he has direct visual confirmation.
    2. get the neuroradiology report on the MRI on your wife and see what it says.
    3. get a third opinion, if both the neurosurgeon and the neuroradiology report indicate that the spinal cord has been transected.

    Even if the spinal cord has been transected, it is not the end of the world. It simply means that the spinal cord needs to be regenerated. Much depends also on the level of the injury. If it occurred in the thoracic spinal cord, that is good news because it means that the lumbar and cervical spinal cord are still intact.

    Wise.

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