The authors from Taipei (Henreich Cheng and others) report a case of motor and sensory improvement in a 28-year old patient who was 4 years after TM at T10, resulting from treatment with fibroblast growth factor that was given intrathecally and then repeated every 5 months. Within 3 weeks after the first injection, the patient had vague sensory improvements. At 2 months, she showed increased walking speed. At 8 months, they found improed motor evoked potentials in some of the muscles of legs. This is, to my knowledge, the first report of improvement in a person with chronic TM due to application of a neurotrophic factor.

[*] Lin PH, Chuang TY, Liao KK, Cheng H and Shih YS (2005). Functional recovery of chronic complete idiopathic transverse myelitis after administration of neurotrophic factors. Spinal Cord Study design:Case report.Objective:To evaluate the functional recovery of chronic complete idiopathic transverse myelitis (ITM) after administration of acidic fibroblast growth factor (aFGF).Methods:A 28-year-old woman presented with a 4-year history of spastic paralysis, sensory level at T10, urinary retention and constipation due to ITM. In all, 20 mug aFGF bolus injection was applied via intradural lumbar puncture, which was repeated every 5 months for 15 months.Results:At 3 weeks after first injection, the patient experienced vague sensation at approximately T12-L1 dermatomes. At 2 months after the second injection, muscle activities and gait pattern were recorded in bilateral gluteus and hip abductors as she ambulated with long leg brace and axillary crutches. Increased walking speeds, reduced pelvic tilting and reduced compensatory trunk rotation during the swing phase were also demonstrated as compared to the initial gait analysis. At 18 months after injection, motor evoked potentials were obtained in hip abductors of both legs.Conclusions:aFGF may increase the efficacy of spinal reactivation/regeneration and is a potential remedy for chronic transverse myelitis.Spinal Cord advance online publication, 6 September 2005; doi:10.1038/ 1Department of Neurosurgery, Neurological Institute, Taipei Veterans General Hospital and National Yang-Ming University, Taiwan.