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Thread: Stem-cell breakthrough in treatment of spinal cord injuries

  1. #1

    Stem-cell breakthrough in treatment of spinal cord injuries

    Dr Raisman due to give talks in Galway, Ireland on his work


    Neurology: A leading British neuroscientist believes he will be in a position to treat patients with spinal cord injuries using stem cells later this year, writes Eoin Burke-Kennedy
    Prof Geoffrey Raisman from the Institute of Neurology at University College London will reveal the extent of his research at a stem cell conference in NUI Galway on Thursday.
    Prof Raisman has pioneered a technique which involves transplanting adult stem cells from the lining of the nose into the areas of injury in the spinal cord.
    He told The Irish Times that his research team had carried out tests on rats with injuries to a specific small tract in the spinal cord.

    "We have been able to restore the use of the paw for retrieving food and climbing and the use of the diaphragm - the muscle used for breathing. We are now looking at human cells and we hope to be seeing human patients later this year," he said.

    The traditional scientific view has been that after damage to the brain or spinal cord the body had no ability to regenerate the connections. But Prof Raisman believes that after injury new nerve connections form automatically.

    "The problem is that the nerve fibres which have been cut do not regenerate - the new connections are additional ones formed by existing nerve fibres in the area," he says. "So they do not restore the circuitry, they simply restore the gaps. The idea is to reopen this pathway by reorganising the cells of the scar tissue and letting the nerve finders grow back."

    A circuit is then reconnected, he says, to restore function or relearn, even if it is not correct.
    The aim is to repair spinal cord injury in humans by transplanting stem cells from the nasal lining called olfactory ensheathing cells (OECs) into the areas of injury. These cells are chosen because the nasal lining is the only area of the body where nerve fibres are known to be able to grow throughout adult life.

    Prof Raisman is proposing that the first human trials be carried out on patients with the spinal root injury known as brachial plexis avulsion - where the nerves to the arm are pulled out of the spinal cord - frequently as a result of car accidents.

    But he believes in time the procedure can be applied to more severe spinal cord damage and to other injuries such as stroke, blindness and deafness.

    Prof Raisman is due to speak about his research at a two-day meeting of the Irish Network of Neural Stem-cell Investigators starting on Thursday at NUI, Galway. The network was established in 2004 by patient representatives and scientists in an effort to accelerate the search for treatments for serious degenerative diseases.


    http://www.ireland.com/newspaper/hea...INALCELLS.html

  2. #2
    Senior Member artsyguy1954's Avatar
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    Thanx, carbar, for this very hopeful and encouraging post and all your other well researched posts. I admire your dedication to the issues that matter. Keep up the good work. ARTSYGUY

  3. #3
    Has Dr. Raisman actally pioneered this surgical technique (OEG transplantation)? Is this the same surgical technique that has been performed overseas or this a different variation thereof?

  4. #4
    Senior Member artsyguy1954's Avatar
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    I think it is a very similar technique and the same cells that Dr, Lima in Portugal uses.

  5. #5
    Olfactory ensheathing glial cells are not stem cells.

    Wise.

  6. #6
    I don't care what kind of cells they use (but thank you Dr Young for clarification) - if it restores the use of my paws.

    You can keep my legs for now, just drop me a couple of levels
    C5/6 incomplete

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    Quote Originally Posted by RehabRhino
    I don't care what kind of cells they use (but thank you Dr Young for clarification) - if it restores the use of my paws.

    You can keep my legs for now, just drop me a couple of levels

    I agree

  8. #8
    Senior Member Leo's Avatar
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    Anyone know of or in this group?

    (Irish Network of Neural Stem-cell Investigators) starting on Thursday at NUI, Galway. The network was established in 2004 by (patient representatives) and scientists in an effort to accelerate the search for treatments for serious degenerative diseases."

    humans this year, can we hold you to that Prof. R?
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  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by RehabRhino
    I don't care what kind of cells they use (but thank you Dr Young for clarification) - if it restores the use of my paws.

    You can keep my legs for now, just drop me a couple of levels
    I'm with you m8 ..... i'm sick of typing with my teeth
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  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by Leo
    Anyone know of or in this group?

    (Irish Network of Neural Stem-cell Investigators) starting on Thursday at NUI, Galway. The network was established in 2004 by (patient representatives) and scientists in an effort to accelerate the search for treatments for serious degenerative diseases."

    humans this year, can we hold you to that Prof. R?
    I don't know them but contacted them by email, haven't heard back yet. The group is a subdivision of Fighting Blindness, so as that suggests is not specifically SCI. But as their aim is to support stem cell research in their field, I am sure that there are SCI people involved too. I'll post if I find out anything more. The talk I think was part organized too by Remedi, a stem cell research company that has a spinal cord injury project. Am in touch with them too for updates.

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