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Thread: Preliminary Human Experiments to Test Safety of Nerve Cell Transplants for Spinal Cor

  1. #1

    Thumbs up Preliminary Human Experiments to Test Safety of Nerve Cell Transplants for Spinal Cor

    Preliminary Human Experiments to Test Safety of Nerve Cell Transplants for Spinal Cord Paralysis

    The new approach, currently being studied by the FDA for phase I trials, avoids the problems of immunological rejection and the controversy around the use of embryonic stem cells

    By R. Douglas Fields | October 19, 2011

    ROCKVILLE, Md.—A new experiment aimed at achieving actor Christopher Reeve 's dream of finding an effective treatment for spinal paralysis was announced this week at an international meeting of scientists and people with spinal cord injury sponsored by the United 2 Fight Paralysis Foundation. The approach, which already is shown to be promising in animals and avoids the need for patients to take immunosuppressive drugs, has not yet been proved effective in humans. Nonetheless, patients are excited to see this advance as they have been frustrated waiting for the first human trials of the new approach.

    W. Dalton Dietrich, scientific director of The Miami Project to Cure Paralysis at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, announced here that his research team has submitted an application to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for permission to begin new "phase I" experiments on humans to treat paralysis using the new cell transplantation technique. (Phase I trials have nothing to do with efficacy. They are only to test safety and typically a nontherapeutic dose is used at the outset of the safety studies.) With the new technique, rather than using cells derived from embryonic stem cells, the patient's own mature cells are harvested from a nerve in the leg and grown in large numbers in the laboratory, then transplanted back into the injured spinal cord to repair damage. This approach avoids the problems of immunological rejection and the controversy that can arise from using cells derived from embryonic stem cells for treating neurological injury and disease. Typically, patients receiving an organ or tissue transplant from a donor must be given immunosupressant drugs to prevent their immune systems from attacking the foreign tissue.

    The cells being used for transplantation are Schwann cells, a type of non-neuronal cell (glia) that protects and insulates nerve fibers running through the body's limbs and trunk. Schwann cells also support the repair of damaged neurons; they provide vital proteins that protect nerve cells after injury, coax new nerve sprouts (axons) to grow and reconnect with the proper structures, and wrap electrical insulation, myelin, around the fibers, which is essential for axons to conduct electrical impulses. Unlike damage to the spinal cord, an injured nerve in the body can repair itself.


  2. #2
    Good news.... for acutes
    -Ramps in buildings are necessary, but it would be usefull to have another ones for people (mind/heart).....

    -Hoc non pereo habebo fortior me

  3. #3

    schwann cells

    great news for acutes i agree, i hope they will eventually work with us chronics.
    "I'm manic as hell-
    But I'm goin' strong-
    Left my meds on the sink again-
    My head will be racing by lunchtime"

    <----Scott Weiland---->

  4. #4
    thats exactly what i kept thinking during their w2w video. well this is good news for people that dont even know it yet.

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