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Thread: Any Way Out, Please?

  1. #1

    Any Way Out, Please?

    I received this email and thought that I would answer this question in Cure...

    Dear Sir ,

    A warm greetings from Bangladesh, an Asian country.

    I am Shamim Ahmed, a 32-year-old man who had **paraplegia** from a D6-D7
    subluxation as a result of a motor vehicle accident in June 2006, presented
    with complete loss of clinically detectable voluntary motor function and
    partial preservation of sensation below the T2WI cord segment

    I would like to have your valuable suggestion, any chance of experiment on
    me, or any other way out please.

    Wishing your cooperation. With Regards

    Thank you for your question. Because it resembles the questions that so many people ask me, I thought that I would answer the question on CareCure instead of in a private email message.

    At present, there is no proven therapy that restores function to people with spinal cord injury, when given more than 8 hours after injury. If a person has had a severe spinal cord injury with complete loss of sensation or motor function below a certain level, that person is not unlikely to recover substantially, including walking.

    If the person has some preserved function, those parts of body that have some motor or sensory function during the first days after spinal cord injury are very likely to recover both motor and sensory function. If a person has both motor and sensory function, particularly if the person has anal sensation or voluntary sphincter contraction, that person is very likely to recover walking.

    Intensive locomotor training accelerates and increases extent of walking recovery in people with spinal cord injury. A recent study from the Kunming Army General Hospital in China suggest that as many as 50% patients with so-called "complete" (ASIA A) spinal cord injuries can recover walking, especially if the patients receive surgery to decompress the spinal cord.

    Many commercial organizations and clinics are offering unproven cell transplants for people with chronic spinal cord injury. They charge $20,000-$80,000 for such transplants. I do not recommend unproven therapies that people are charging money because there is no convincing evidence that these therapies are beneficial for chronic spinal cord injury. Many of these places make misleading claims of efficacy or safety. Some are outright scams.

    1. Fetal neural stem cells. The Russians were the first to transplant fetal cells into the spinal cord in Moscow and in Novosibirsk. They were doing transplanting fetal neural tissues before fetal neural stem cells were known. At least one of the groups formed a company that is offering these cells for treatment in the Carribbean.

    2. Olfactory ensheathing glia. Several groups in China have transplanted fetal olfactory ensheathing glial cells into hundreds of patients with chronic spinal cord injury. Most of these patients recover several segmental levels of sensory function in 6 weeks after transplantation but motor recovery is limited. This procedure is regarded as unproven by most doctors in the United States and Europe. For many years, a group in Portugal offered nasal mucosal transplants.

    3. Umbilical cord blood cells. Several groups in China and India are offering umbilical cord blood cells. For example, Beike Biotechnology in Shenzhen offers non-HLA-matched CD34+ umbilical cord blood cells, given intravenously or intrathecally. Organizations in Chennai, Bangkok, Singapore, and Korea offer HLA-matched umbilical cord blood for intravenous or intrathecal administration.

    4. Bone marrow cells. Many groups are will take autologous bone marrow cells and transplant them by injecting them intrathecally. For example, the German government recently closed a company called X-cells in Cologne, which offered a service by which they remove and process bone marrow cells for doctors to administer to the patients. Other clinics offer bone marrow cells in Bombay, Chennai, Cairo, Amman, Moscow, and Dubai.

    5. Embryonic stem cells. A called Nu Tech, headed by Dr. Geeta Shroff, in Delhi offers human embryonic stem cells. Other than anecdotal stories from patients, there is no convincing data that this group is transplanting embryonic stem cells and that the therapies are improving patients.

    Several legitimate cell transplant clinical trials are underway.
    • Geron. Transplantation of human embryonic stem cells that have been differentiated into oligodendroglial precursor cells. The transplants are done within 2 weeks after injury.
    • Stemcell, Inc. This trial is being carried out at Balgrist Hospital in Zurich, transplanting a line of neural stem cells into the spinal cord of people at about 6 months after injury.
    • ChinaSCINet. HLA-matched umbilical cord mononuclear cell and lithium treatment of spinal cord injury. The cells are transplanted in people with chronic spinal cord injury.
    • New Zealand. In ChristChurch, they are transplanting nasal mucosal cells into the spinal cord of people with chronic spinal cord injury. This is a test of the nasal mucosal transplants that were being done in Portugal.

    People often write to me to ask which one is the best. They have reached a stage in their life when they are ready for therapy, any therapy that might have a chance of working. When they write to me, they don’t want to know how much data there is for or against each of the therapies. They just want to know which one is the best and they will try to get the therapies.

    Some people say that they have nothing to lose. Strictly speaking, this is not true. They lose money and time. More important, they lose hope, when the therapy does not work. That is most painful and devastating of all. My recommendation to you is to support spinal cord injury trials that will test the therapies and provide trustworthy data that will allow rational decisions to apply these therapies.

    There are and will be more spinal cord injury clinical trials, testing therapies and showing whether or not they work and are safe. When the therapies are shown to work and the risks are defined, that is the time to decide. Of course, if a legitimate clinical trial is being done in your area and you can contribute to progress in the field, I would of course urge you to do so. Make sure that the group that is doing the trials is legitimate and will publish the results.

    I don’t think that cell transplants alone will be the cure. The treatment that will produce the most recovery will likely be a combination therapy that addresses multiple obstacles that block the path of regenerating axons. For people who have lower spinal cord injuries that have damaged motoneurons, cells that can replace neurons are needed. Finally, regenerative and neuronal replacement therapies must be accompanied by intensive training.

    Last edited by Wise Young; 08-18-2011 at 01:34 PM. Reason: corrected some grammatical errors

  2. #2
    As always, thank you not only for your scientific knowledge, but your kindness.
    Scientific knowledge appears to be more plentiful than kindness, so thank you for showing gentleness to those who ask questions.
    Dennis Tesolat

    "Change does not roll in on the wheels of inevitability, but comes through continuous struggle. And so we must straighten our backs and work for our freedom."
    Martin Luther King

  3. #3
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Bucharest, Romania
    Thank you so much for your explanations.

  4. #4
    A list of current clinical trials can be found at
    Dennis Tesolat

    "Change does not roll in on the wheels of inevitability, but comes through continuous struggle. And so we must straighten our backs and work for our freedom."
    Martin Luther King

  5. #5
    Hi dr. wise,

    Which of these groups would be best suited for a person with side effects from a sympathectomy??

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