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Thread: Spinal injury 'repairs' on trial

  1. #1

    Talking Spinal injury 'repairs' on trial

    Trials are to begin on the first patients as part of cell research which could help thousands of people paralysed in accidents.
    Welsh charity Trust PA has helped to fund scientists who hope to repair the spinal cord by transferring cells from the nose to make it grow back.

    If successful, the treatment could mean patients taking back control of their bodies.

    The research is being carried out by the Institute of Neurology in London.

    Simon Morris, from Sully in the Vale of Glamorgan, has been learning to rebuild his life since an accident 10 years ago left him paralysed from the chest down.

  2. #2
    Hey thats me! Yup this is good news. The trial is being run by Prof Geoff Raisman.

  3. #3
    Thanks for posting this!

    below is a snippit from Prof Raisman's website regarding his clinical trials. It needs to be updated in reference to these trials.
    Information for Patients

    The Spinal Repair Unit regrets that we have no facilities for answering individual enquiries.

    The Unit is only a research laboratory. We are not a treatment facility and are in no position to offer any advice about treatment, which must continue to be sought from the patient’s own doctor. But please rest assured that any findings arising from our research will be communicated throughout the medical profession.

    As of November 2006, we are planning, in collaboration with our surgical colleagues, to carry out a preliminary safety study of the effects of transplanting olfactory ensheathing cells. The timing of this study is not fixed, but we hope it will start some time in 2007. The study will involve around 10 patients who are part of the routine practice of the National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery and who will be treated within a few days of accidents causing avulsion of the brachial plexus. We do not yet have the technology to tackle other types of injury. The brachial plexus study will take up to 18 months. Where we go from there will depend on the follow-up results of this study showing safety and feasibility.

    Further details of the progress of the research will be updated periodically on this website.

  4. #4

    Spinal repair pioneer Professor Geoffrey Raisman speaks on the next steps in spinal r

    FYI - Prof. Raisman speaking on his trials from 2 1/2 years ago...
    Spinal repair pioneer Professor Geoffrey Raisman speaks on the next steps in spinal repair science

    18 January 2005

    The first clinical trials seeking to repair spinal cord injury on a pilot roup of selected patients are set to begin at University College London (UCL) within the next three years, says Professor Geoffrey Raisman, director of the newly established Spinal Repair Unit at UCL. Professor Raisman will be setting out his vision for the future in New York on Thursday 20th January, at the US launch of the Campaign for UCL, a major campaign with the objective of raising funds necessary to support projects that include development of the Spinal Repair Unit.

    Professor Raisman was one of the first neuroscientists whose work in stem cell research has raised the real possibility that spinal cord injuries, long considered incurable, could be repaired. The work of the team holds out significant hope that spinal cord patients will eventually be able to regain much of the ability to move that they have lost. For paraplegic patients this could lead to a return of sensation and movement to some leg muscles, potentially allowing them to stand and making movement easier, while tetraplegics (patients with spinal injury high in the neck region), could recover touch sensation and movement of the hands, and regain the ability to dress, feed and clean independently.

    Professor Raisman's key discovery was that there is one part of the nervous system, a region in the nasal cavity concerned with the sense of smell, in which nerve fibres are in a state of continuous growth throughout adult life. Working at the National Institute for Medicial Research in London, Raisman's team transplanted cells from this region into the injured spinal cord of laboratory rats, and found that the cells had a remarkable capacity to integrate into damaged pathways, laying a 'bridge' over the gap in the nerve fibres caused by injury.

    The team has now moved to UCL to attempt to transfer that technology from rats to humans, working with patients at the National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery in London , and it is anticipated that the preparatory work to begin trials will be complete within two to three years.

    "For many years these injuries were considered incurable, and they are still are incurable," says Professor Raisman, "But I believe that we can now affirm that the door leading to repair of such injuries has now been opened, even if it is for the time being only ajar."

    The devastating effects of spinal cord injury are due to disconnection of nerve fibres. Disconnection of the nerve fibres travelling from the brain down to the spinal cord causes paralysis, loss of control of the bladder and bowels, and loss of sexual functions. It can also prevent breathing. Disconnection of nerve fibres travelling up to the brain causes loss of sensation.

    "When a nerve fibre is severed it attempts to regrow, like the sprouts arising from the trunk of a felled tree," says Professor Raisman, explaining the technique that his team have discovered. Their failure to do this is not due to an intrinsic inability of nerve fibres to grow, but to the disruption of the pathway along which the nerve fibres need to travel in order to reach their original destinations. This realisation has led to a completely new approach to repairing spinal cord injury.

    "It is as if part of a roadway has been washed away by a flooding river. The cars are still able to travel, the drivers remember where they wish to go, the tanks are full of fuel. The situation will not be repaired by adding more cars, or filling up the tanks to overflowing. What is required is to repair the roadway, to lay a bridge over the gap.

    "The pathway taken by nerve fibres is a living pathway made up of specialised cells laid out in rows, like the paving stones of a road. When the spinal cord is injured, the pathway cells of the spinal cord are unable to repair themselves. They remain piled up in a great scar. The scar has the value of holding the flood water back but forms an impenetrable barrier to the cars.

    "The way out of the impasse came from the discovery that there is one part of the nervous system, and only one, in which nerve fibres are in a state of continuous growth throughout adult life. This is the part of the nervous system concerned with the sense of smell. It is located in the upper part of the lining of the nasal cavity and contains adult stem cells which are capable of regenerating the entire system. The intuitive leap was to transplant cells obtained from this area into the injured spinal cord. What we found was that in laboratory animals the cells have a remarkable capacity to integrate into the damaged roadway, open up the scar, and lay a bridge over the gap.

    "The cut nerve fibres at once recognised the bridge, crossed it rapidly, and regenerated to their original destinations. In laboratory animals these transplants resulted in return of important functions such as paw reaching and climbing, and we were the first, and still the only, team to show that this repair resulted in a restoration of the ability to breathe. Very promising ongoing studies are investigating whether this approach can also restore bladder, bowel and sexual functions.

    "An especially encouraging feature of these transplants, carried out in laboratory animals, is that the reparative pathway cells can be obtained from tissue samples taken from the adult nasal lining by a technique which does no permanent damage, since the system, like skin, contains adult stem cells and is in a state of continuous self renewal. If this technique can be transferred to humans, the patient can be his/her own cell donor. This will avoid the need to use embryonic tissue, to find donor individuals, foreign stem cells, or to use powerful designer drugs with unknown side-effects.

    "The ability to reconnect spinal cord nerve fibre is only a beginning. Success will open the door to a number of other conditions where nerve fibres are damaged. These include some major forms of stroke, as well as blindness and deafness caused by nerve injuries.

    "There is a long way to go, and we do not wish to raise false hopes in patients who are living with spinal cord injury. However, our work to date clearly indicates that, contrary to received wisdom, the spinal cord does have the potential to repair itself. That is why we believe that human trials are the logical next step."

    "Professor Raisman and his team have shown that the repair of the injured spinal cord is now a real possibility," says Professor Malcolm Grant, President and Provost of UCL. "Bringing the team to UCL means that we can now start preparing for the day when the first trials will begin. We all look forward to seeing this promising research translated into successful clinical trials at the earliest possible stage. We are launching our Campaign for UCL in New York this week to showcase and gain support for the groundbreaking research talking place across UCL, of which the work of Professor Raisman's team is one example."

  5. #5

    Some good news

    It's good to see more and more of these trials.

  6. #6
    Senior Member Kratos's Avatar
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    look's like Lima's treatmant?

  7. #7
    Senior Member Schmeky's Avatar
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    Not Lima's treatment, quite different.

    I was under the impression Raisman was pursuing this treatment on Brachial Plexus injuries, not SCI?

  8. #8
    You are right. He is starting with Brachial Plexus Injuries (BPI) with the intent of moving on to SCI if the treatment is successful. I'm not exactly sure as to why he's starting with BPIs, but I've got some ideas.

    Reattaching avulsed (torn) nerves from the spinal cord rarely brings back any return of function what so ever, the best chance is when it's done with in 24 hours after injury and even then the return is still extremely minimal (due to the same inhibitors that prevent SCI from repairing, which doesn't hold true for an injury to peripheral nerves that are more distal from the SC). So being able to reattach or re-implant avulsed nerves and have a successful return of function may be a better indicator of a successful therapy or procedure than it would be if attempted with a SCI because of other factors that may contribute to a return of function, such as, decompression, scar removal, or an incomplete injury status.

    These are my calculated guesses, but I'll try and find out the real reason. I've met up with Prof Raisman's peripheral nerve surgeon that he's doing these trials with, Dr. Thomas Carlstedt, who is one of only three surgeons out there that I'm aware of that attempts to re-implant avulsed cervical and thoracic nerves. It's a harry procedure.


    Quote Originally Posted by Schmeky
    I was under the impression Raisman was pursuing this treatment on Brachial Plexus injuries, not SCI?

  9. #9
    raisman had been blabbing about this since before the majority of anyone reading this was injured. it's nothing but idle talk, and chimps and dogs are gonna be tortured, thus delaying treatment to humans further, and torturing animals. I don't want to get my body back at the expense of suffering, innocent animals. "Man is the most dangerous animal of all"!

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by damagedgoods
    raisman had been blabbing about this since before the majority of anyone reading this was injured. it's nothing but idle talk, and chimps and dogs are gonna be tortured, thus delaying treatment to humans further, and torturing animals. I don't want to get my body back at the expense of suffering, innocent animals. "Man is the most dangerous animal of all"!

    If it takes killing ten or ten thousand rats to cure paralysis, I'll kill them myself and eat them all with a smile on my face so we can all be freed of these prisons that our bodies have become.

    Those goes for monkeys too.

    I'll be willing to bet a few thousand that Raisman's trials work, if your up for it. Loser has to donate half the amount of the total bet to the winners choice of charity for SCI.

    Christopher Janney
    Last edited by cljanney; 07-08-2007 at 03:46 AM.

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