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Thread: stem cell question

  1. #1

    stem cell question

    Hi! Something I'm curious about. My son had a spinal cord injury at T5/T6 thought to be caused by a fibrocartilagenous embolism. When we were seen at John Hopkins the MD said that even if stem cell treatment was available that Brian would not be a candidate. Is that because it is a vascular injury? The MD didn't get in to why and I think I must of been overwhelmed by the news that Brian didn't have Tm and didn't ask why.
    You are all very helpful and I cannot tell you how much I appreciate the CareCure site. Thank you for your generosity. Nancy

  2. #2
    I noticed that my question has been moved. my son had a non traumatic SCI, so I posted here because it has to do with the fact that it is a vascular injury. Any assist, I'd appreciate it thanks

  3. #3
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    Hi Nancy. I don’t think the doc here can tell about the future just like that, actually it is hard to tell for anybody since there are no stem cell procedures to cure SCI. I also think although your son had blocking off of some arteries or capillaries resulting in ischemia and subsequent axon and even neuron death making it not an traumatic injury one should remember that traumatic injuries also often leads to the same vascular injuries and subsequent problems. Thus I don’t see any big difference between traumatic injuries and vascular injuries as such. Good luck.

  4. #4
    Super Moderator Sue Pendleton's Avatar
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    Most atraumatic causes we see effect the myelin sheathing such as TM, MS, etc. As Leif pointed out most vascular problems effect the gray matter also to at least some extent. The current research at Hopkins in the TM Center I believe centers around remyelination. Has you son tried 4-AP? A good result from that may effect how he is treated as stem cell therapies become available.
    Courage doesn't always roar. Sometimes courage is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying, "I will try again tomorrow."

    Disclaimer: Answers, suggestions, and/or comments do not constitute medical advice expressed or implied and are based solely on my experiences as a SCI patient. Please consult your attending physician for medical advise and treatment. In the event of a medical emergency please call 911.

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by Nancy E
    Hi! Something I'm curious about. My son had a spinal cord injury at T5/T6 thought to be caused by a fibrocartilagenous embolism. When we were seen at John Hopkins the MD said that even if stem cell treatment was available that Brian would not be a candidate. Is that because it is a vascular injury? The MD didn't get in to why and I think I must of been overwhelmed by the news that Brian didn't have Tm and didn't ask why.
    You are all very helpful and I cannot tell you how much I appreciate the CareCure site. Thank you for your generosity. Nancy
    Nancy,

    At Johns Hopkins, the head of the TM Clinic is Douglas Kerr. I wonder if he is the doctor that you spoke to at Johns Hopkins. Dr. Kerr is the head of the team that did the study showing the mouse and human embryonic stem cells can replace motoneurons in the spinal cord of rats, and that the motoneurons regenerated axons that grew out the spinal cord to reinnervate the muscle.

    I suspect that if you had engaged the doctor in a longer conversation, he would have explained that your son's injury (presumably it is in the thoracic spinal cord) would require regeneration of spinal tracts for recovery. This regeneration may not require stem cell therapy although many scientists, including myself, believe that it will require some type of cell transplant (to bridge the injury site), sustained growth factor support, and blockade of growth inhibitors known to the present in the spinal cord.

    Several clinical trials are testing blockers of growth inhibitors. These include antibodies against Nogo and Cethrin. There are also trials assessing various cell transplants, including olfactory ensheathing glia, bone marrow, and umbilical cord blood cells. If you search on this site for Nogo and cethrin, you will find many posts about these.

    In the China Spinal Cord Injury Network, we are planning to assess a combination of umbilical cord blood mononuclear cells and lithium, a drug that stimulates the cord blood cells to produce growth factors. I believe that the spinal cord can regenerate and we should be doing rigorous clinical trials to test combinations of the most promising therapies.

    Wise.

  6. #6
    Wise, thank you SO much for your reponse to my post. It was in fact Dr. Kerr that we saw at Hopkins. I will look for the posts on Nogo and Cethrin. Thanks very much for the info you provided. Your commitment to spinal cord research and the generous sharing of your knowledge on this site is beyond words. I remain very hopeful that my son will recover. Nancy

  7. #7
    Hi Sue Thanks for your answer. Brian has not had 4AP and I will look into it. Nancy

  8. #8
    Senior Member alan's Avatar
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    I tried to e-mail Dr. Kerr at one point about whether he had any ideas about my central pain problem, but never got a reply.

    When I had my spinal cord stimulator in 1986, Dr. Richard North at Hopkins revised its position twice from the original location, but it never helped, so he removed it. He couldn't get it above my C-5 injury level due to scarring - he thought it would help if it was over working spinal cord. Highest he got it was about C-6. I also saw Dr. James Campbell around that time for pain - he had no luck, either. I can no longer tolerate the ride from Pikesville to Hopkins, or I'd try them again - they were both very nice.
    Alan

    Proofread carefully to see if you any words out.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wise Young
    Nancy,

    At Johns Hopkins, the head of the TM Clinic is Douglas Kerr. I wonder if he is the doctor that you spoke to at Johns Hopkins. Dr. Kerr is the head of the team that did the study showing the mouse and human embryonic stem cells can replace motoneurons in the spinal cord of rats, and that the motoneurons regenerated axons that grew out the spinal cord to reinnervate the muscle.

    I suspect that if you had engaged the doctor in a longer conversation, he would have explained that your son's injury (presumably it is in the thoracic spinal cord) would require regeneration of spinal tracts for recovery. This regeneration may not require stem cell therapy although many scientists, including myself, believe that it will require some type of cell transplant (to bridge the injury site), sustained growth factor support, and blockade of growth inhibitors known to the present in the spinal cord.

    Several clinical trials are testing blockers of growth inhibitors. These include antibodies against Nogo and Cethrin. There are also trials assessing various cell transplants, including olfactory ensheathing glia, bone marrow, and umbilical cord blood cells. If you search on this site for Nogo and cethrin, you will find many posts about these.

    In the China Spinal Cord Injury Network, we are planning to assess a combination of umbilical cord blood mononuclear cells and lithium, a drug that stimulates the cord blood cells to produce growth factors. I believe that the spinal cord can regenerate and we should be doing rigorous clinical trials to test combinations of the most promising therapies.

    Wise.
    Hi Dr. Young,

    Would my injury/damage be similar in nature as to what you and Nancy have described above? I am an incomplete T7 paraplegic as a result of a post operative transcected aorta. The paraplegia was noted as spinal cord infarction primarily related to an anterior spinal artery type syndrome with destruction of the central grey matter and anterior horn clells with relative preservation of sensation and dorsal spinal cord function.

    I am considering stem cell treatment and your input would be greatly appreciated.

    Thanks!

  10. #10
    What stem cell treatment are you considering?




    Quote Originally Posted by Macjac
    Hi Dr. Young,

    Would my injury/damage be similar in nature as to what you and Nancy have described above? I am an incomplete T7 paraplegic as a result of a post operative transcected aorta. The paraplegia was noted as spinal cord infarction primarily related to an anterior spinal artery type syndrome with destruction of the central grey matter and anterior horn clells with relative preservation of sensation and dorsal spinal cord function.

    I am considering stem cell treatment and your input would be greatly appreciated.

    Thanks!

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