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Thread: Highlights and (My Reasons for) Hope from 2006

  1. #31
    make it happen


  2. #32
    Quote Originally Posted by Schmeky

    One of the first indications that this is the right approach came from Davies, et al. (Source) who reported earlier this year that differentiating embryonic glial-restricted precursor cells to astrocytes before transplantation was effective in promoting growth of over 60% of ascending dorsal column axons into the center of the injury site and 66% of these axons continued to grow out of the injury site.

    Dr. Young thank you very much for this topic. It is heartening to hear you being so positive about future progress.

    I have a question based on the quoted information above. I wonder why with the excellent results stated above about Davies work, is something like this not being taken to clinical trials for acutes via the ChinaSCINET?

    Where would we get the immune-compatible glial precursor cells for doing this? Until we solve the problem of a having a reliable source of immune-compatible cells that we can differentiate and transplant, we cannot consider taking such therapies to clinical trial. To me, this is one of the most important problems that we must solve. As I have pointed out before, the solution must be able to provide cells for many millions of people or else we would have a humanitarian disaster on our hands.

    In my opinion, there are three approaches that we can take to solve this problem and progress is being made on all three approaches. The first is the brute force method of cloning stem cells that presumably would be immune-compatible. I say presumably because there is now data suggesting that cells would be rejected if they are grown in animal serum (because they pick up foreign animal antigens that would result in immune rejection). The second is to use cells from the same individual and use different methods of culturing them to get the appropriate cells. As I pointed out, promising progress has been made with bone marrow cells. The third is to use HLA-antigen matched cells, such as umbilical cord blood. Of the three approaches, I think that only the third is currently available, feasible, and cost-effective. Within a year or two, I hope that the second will become feasible and cost-effective. I believe that human embryonic stem cell research will soon yield the combination of genetic factors that would make any cell into a stem cell. Once that is accomplished, we should be able to genetically modify cells from the individual's own body to become stem cells (in response to specific signals) and produce immune-compatible cells needed for transplantation.

    There is a fourth approach and that is to manipulate our immune systems so that it does not attack a particular cell type. We have long known that it is possible to elicit immune tolerance of foreign cells. For example, if one transplants cells into a fetus, the immune system learns to accept the transplanted cells. This would of course be a general solution to the immune-compatibility problem. If there is someway that we can "teach" the immune system to accept certain cells, this would of course allow us to transplant any kind of cell. In theory, it should be possible to do this. We have long manipulated the immune system by vaccination, i.e. teaching it to attack specific antigens. It should be possible to induce immune tolerance through similar methods, particularly with DNA based vaccines. I believe that this is a worthwhile area of investment.


  3. #33
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Adelaide, Australia
    As the grandmother of a 12 year old paraplegic boy in Australia, thank you for your dedication and hope for the future. It is difficult to keep abreast of all the research happening around the world and we rely on this site to keep our knowledge up to date. Fantastic to be able to read such a synopsis from a person of great knowledge and compassion.

  4. #34
    Sorry that I did not have an opportunity to answer all the posts. I have collected them altogether in one place here.


    Quote Originally Posted by Buck_Nastier
    Thanks Dr. Young
    Buck, you are very welcome. Happy New Year. Wise.

    Quote Originally Posted by Curt Leatherbee
    Thank you so much Wise, your optimism is a very good Christmas gift to all of us. I hope you and your family have a great holiday.
    Curt, you have been a wonderful friend and I hope that you have a great New Year. Wise.

    Quote Originally Posted by artsyguy1954
    Dr. Young, thank you for the SCI cure synopsis for 2006. It was very good reading. Happy Holidays.
    artsy, if what I wrote contributed to Christmas cheer in any way, it would be my greatest pleasure. Wise.

    Quote Originally Posted by rfbdorf
    You referred to the plasticity of the spinal cord. This is so mind-blowing, that a surgeon can place a nerve that had developed to do one thing close to an organ that has been for some reason denervated, and the nerve will grow and connect to the organ, and learn to do the correct job. I suppose that in principle this is what happens naturally during fetal development, but still my understanding is so limited that it seems like magic to me.
    Thank you for the review. There's a lot going on, and positive developments on many fronts.
    - Richard
    Richard, it does seem like magic, doesn't it. To tell you the truth, the question of what regenerating axons will do once they get home has been one of my greatest worries. I don't think that any of us could have suspected that the spinal cord could be so plastic. It almost seems as if brain and spinal cord depend on what they innervate and not what they do. For example, if one routes a nerve that normally controls walking muscles to the bladder, the nerve not only connects to very different cells but can adapt to operating the bladder. How does it do this? I don't know. However, the evidence is very strong that the spinal cord not only can change what it does but it does it extremely well. Wise.

    Quote Originally Posted by Don D. 73
    What a great Christmas present for every one in the CC community!
    I want to join in with the best of holiday wishes for you, Wise.
    Merry Christmas and a very Happy New Year
    Don, a very happy new year for you, too. Wise.

    Quote Originally Posted by spidergirl
    These mere words are better than any gift I will receive for Christmas. Thank-you for your optimism and your unrivaled passion to cure spinal chord injury. Happy Holidays to you and your family.
    Cheryl, thank you very much for your passion, too. I spent Christmas with my family (children, wife, and mother. For a long time, I just worked hard in the laboratory and hoped that the work that we did will be applied to people. After years of watching promising therapies hit the wall between the laboratory and clinic, I decided to try to do something about it. The first thing that I learned was that no person can do it alone. Now, we have many people working on breaking down the wall. There are some holes in the walls, here and there. But, more surprising, there have been major scientific advances that is transforming the field. Stem cell research is taking off, thanks of the people of California and soon New Jersey, and institutions such as Harvard. The best scientific minds are working on the research and I have confidence that 2007 will see an exponential increase in our understanding and use of stem cells to repair the brain and spinal cord. In the meantime, despite the paucity of funding for spinal cord injury clinical trials, they are being done. Finally, there have been very important advances in therapeutic approaches that will help ensure the efficacy and safety of the therapies when they reach clinical trials. Wise.

    Quote Originally Posted by lynnifer
    Yay for nerve grafts - a strong hope I have for chronics that's tangible!!!
    Lynnifer, isn't it amazing?

    Quote Originally Posted by dan_nc
    Thanks and Merry Christmas to you and your family, Dr. Young.
    dan, happy new year to you and your family. You have been great. Wise.

    Quote Originally Posted by Leif
    The same from me, always nice to see your dedication. Thank you.
    Leif, my friend from Norway, thank you for your dedication also. Wise.

    Quote Originally Posted by kkmay
    Come on Cethrin!
    December 31- Bring on the new year!
    kkmay, cethrin is made from C3, a bacterial toxin. Isn't it amazing that bacteria figured out how to inhibit rho, the messenger that mediates cell growth inhibition, long before we even knew that such inhibition existed. Wise.

    Quote Originally Posted by alhavel
    What ????? Is going on with Cethrin ? I called Bioxane a few times with no response ? Would love to get in the 3rd Trials...
    alhavel, I don't think that they have started planning the next trial. They have to raise the money for the trials and make some important decisions. Because most of the data emphasizes acute or subacute injury, I suspect that the next trial will involve the same. Wise.

    Quote Originally Posted by hp
    Thank you. Happy Holidays Dr. Young and everyone.
    hp, thank you. Happy Holidays to everybody! Wise.

    Quote Originally Posted by Rollin_Rick
    Excellent read Dr. Young. Thank You and Happy Holidays.
    Rollin, thank you as well. Happy New Year. Wise.

    Quote Originally Posted by adi_chicago
    thank you dr.young.
    happy holidays and all the best to you and your family.
    adi, you have been really great. Keep up your hope and optimism. Wise.

    Quote Originally Posted by shwetarose
    That was indeed real gift for the new year..Optimism is really needed from u doctor. Ur last line "arrive sooner than later" was really satisfying..Wishing you , your family a very happy christmas and to all of mah friends in CC....i feel 2007 will really work for us - guaranted treatment, revolution...strong feeling..
    shwetarose, Happy New Year to you! Wise.

    Quote Originally Posted by manouli
    Thank you very much Dr. Young for your hard work to get us out of our wheelchairs. Wishing you and your family Happy Holidays and Merry Christmas. You are my Santa Clause this year.
    Manouli, all the little elves have been working very hard. I hope that we will have better Christmas next year. Wise.

    Quote Originally Posted by Riz
    Thank you Dr. Wise for the update. Have a great holiday and a Happy and Healty New Year!Riz C-5 incomplete
    Riz, you are very welcome. I am very hopeful that New Jersey will be the place next year. Wise.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mombo
    Dr. Young, thank you for the best Christmas ever! You are our HERO and my family wishes you and yours a very safe and joyous holiday season and the best to you for '07! Thank you, thank you, thank you!!!
    Mombo, my wishes for a joyous holiday and a fantastic year for you and your family. Wise.

    Quote Originally Posted by NetoAnAstro
    I think everyone would agree that 2006 is the first year that we see an advance towards a SCI cure. I only wish Christopher Reeve was still alive and had benefitted from all this. I still beleive that Christopher Reeve is the person that got SCI in the spot light. Every year before 2006 was nothing but hope with no major progress. Thank you Dr. Young for this website and your help.
    NetoAnAstro, I agree and wish that Christopher were here to see the tree that he planted. Wise.

    Quote Originally Posted by isildur
    Smile. I would be happy if i could recover from c6 to t1-t2 and be independent.
    isildur, it will come. Wise.

    Quote Originally Posted by NoDecafPlz
    There are people that I love here on care cure
    that I hope and pray get their hand function back and more.
    Caf, I agree wholeheartedly. Wise.

    Quote Originally Posted by seppel
    Thank you very much Dr.YOUNG for this update,
    Your optimism is realy the very best Christmas gift for us, much more better that any gift we will receive.
    Thank you so much for your hard work to get us out of our wheelchairs.
    We wish you and your family a Merry Christmas and a very Happy new Year.
    Seppel (member of ALARME - France).
    seppel, thank you for your message. Happy New Year to everybody at ALARME. Wise.

    Quote Originally Posted by Nathan's Nanny
    As the grandmother of a 12 year old paraplegic boy in Australia, thank you for your dedication and hope for the future. It is difficult to keep abreast of all the research happening around the world and we rely on this site to keep our knowledge up to date. Fantastic to be able to read such a synopsis from a person of great knowledge and compassion.
    Nathan's Nanny, people like you are the strongest advocates for the cure for spinal cord injury. When it happens, I want to toast them because without the support of parents and grandparents, the cure will not happen. The research in 2006 have shown clearly beyond doubt that the spinal cord wants to grow and can grow if given the path the grow. More important, when the nerve fibers reach their homes, they seem to know what to do and learn how to bring function back even though it may be very different from what they use to do. This relieves a huge worry for scientists. Wise.

  5. #35
    Banned adi chicago's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    near dracula castle
    when i read your post tears came off from my me when i was in coma i had a dream a male from asia touched me and told me to walk .
    i walked and i said thank you sir.i thought that dr.huang was the male, i was wrong.
    maybe you are the us please.and one more time i will like to thank you for this great site.keeps sci and people who cares united .
    when i saw the sky opened and jesus my coma ends.
    i belive in science ,but after my experiences i belive in god too.
    all the best and a happy new year.
    • Dum spiro, spero.
      • Translation: "As long as I breathe, I hope."

  6. #36
    Senior Member kate's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2002
    bellevue, wa, usa

    Wise, you are one of our big reasons for hope in 2007

    Happy birthday and thank you for another year of progress. All I have to do is imagine what it would be like if there were no CC, no Keck Center, no ChinaSCINet, no Dr. Young . . . and I remember what despair feels like. Your fans in the Pacific Northwest are sending you love and good energy!


    ps--also, one of these days, you're going to get a copy of my book in the mail, too.

  7. #37
    Not only brilliant, unselfish and hard working, but also a helluva nice guy. I sure hope I can meet you some day, Wise.
    新年快樂 并 生日快樂
    - Richard

  8. #38
    developments in 2006 that give me hope and why I believe that a cure for spinal cord injury is not only on its way but will arrive sooner rather than later.
    It is so much easier to be optomistic when someone with your expertise makes statements like that and then backs them them up with clearly presented summaries of reasons to be optomistic. Thanks!

  9. #39
    Dr. Young, I woke up this morning paralyzed and hopeless. It doesn't happen often but when it does... I had a tradition of hiking Camelback Mountain every New Year's morning. The rest of the group went and thought of me at the top but it's not the same.

    I hold out hope that I will climb that mountain again. The deal is I'll get myself up, they have to get me down. LOL.

    When you first posted this message, I printed it and keep it close, I emailed it to every SCI and every advocate that I know. NOW is the time to work harder than ever.

    You gave me the hope that I need to keep going. I'm ready to fight on. More letters, more fundraisers, more research studies. Thank you.

  10. #40
    Senior Member Schmeky's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    West Monroe, LA, USA
    Dr. Young,

    You have always been cautiously optimistic in the past.

    This is the first time I can recall you being assertively confident.

    Thanx for all you have done and will continue to do.

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