Thread: Stephen Davies Update

  1. #1071
    Yes, Leif, as far as I can tell it is a "system thing". As far as I can tell, the system over here sucks completely:

    1) None of the major pharmaceutical companies, some of the largest companies in the world with the most resources and the most ability to influence the political process, have any desire to cure anything. They are only interested in making money. The best way for them to make money is to patent a drug that doesn't actually solve the problem, but instead just treat the symptoms sufficiently to keep the patient alive. Then he has to take the drug every day for the rest of his life. A perfect example of this is medicine for high blood pressure. Or high cholesterol levels. Or (fill in the blank). The net result is that there is zero help from this quarter.

    2) That only leaves the NIH and private foundations as sources of funding. The NIH is worse because of the amount of paperwork involved and the incredibly long lead times between applying for a grant and actually receiving your money (less than a 10% chance!). But they both have an incredible problem with regards to SCI. For a hundred years nobody thought it possible to regenerate the CNS. Now with stem cells there are glimmers of hope.

    The problem is that each grant proposal goes before a review board composed of experts in the field. Since there are only perhaps a half-dozen serious research teams working on SCI repair, this means that your grant proposal is going to be reviewed in detail by the very people that are competing for the limited amount of funds that you are applying for. Not only does this set up a tremendous conflict of interest, but it also means that you must divulge all of your ideas to the people that are competing for those funds.

    This process puts the smooth-talking "political" type of researchers at an advantage over those focused on their work in the lab. You can see that very clearly in the reactions here on the forums. Dr. Davies is the subject of endless complaints -- not because he hasn't produced incredible results, but because he doesn't spend enough time posting here telling us about those results. And the converse is equally true.

    Unfortunately I see nothing in the future that will change these forces and lead to increased focus on actually finding a cure. California has funded a stem-cell research initiative, but it is limited to researchers working in California. Maybe all of the researchers will end up re-locating to California...

  2. #1072
    Senior Member 0xSquidy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Charles Hansen View Post
    Yes, Leif, as far as I can tell it is a "system thing". As far as I can tell, the system over here sucks completely:

    1) None of the major pharmaceutical companies, some of the largest companies in the world with the most resources and the most ability to influence the political process, have any desire to cure anything. They are only interested in making money. The best way for them to make money is to patent a drug that doesn't actually solve the problem, but instead just treat the symptoms sufficiently to keep the patient alive. Then he has to take the drug every day for the rest of his life. A perfect example of this is medicine for high blood pressure. Or high cholesterol levels. Or (fill in the blank). The net result is that there is zero help from this quarter.

    2) That only leaves the NIH and private foundations as sources of funding. The NIH is worse because of the amount of paperwork involved and the incredibly long lead times between applying for a grant and actually receiving your money (less than a 10% chance!). But they both have an incredible problem with regards to SCI. For a hundred years nobody thought it possible to regenerate the CNS. Now with stem cells there are glimmers of hope.

    The problem is that each grant proposal goes before a review board composed of experts in the field. Since there are only perhaps a half-dozen serious research teams working on SCI repair, this means that your grant proposal is going to be reviewed in detail by the very people that are competing for the limited amount of funds that you are applying for. Not only does this set up a tremendous conflict of interest, but it also means that you must divulge all of your ideas to the people that are competing for those funds.

    This process puts the smooth-talking "political" type of researchers at an advantage over those focused on their work in the lab. You can see that very clearly in the reactions here on the forums. Dr. Davies is the subject of endless complaints -- not because he hasn't produced incredible results, but because he doesn't spend enough time posting here telling us about those results. And the converse is equally true.

    Unfortunately I see nothing in the future that will change these forces and lead to increased focus on actually finding a cure. California has funded a stem-cell research initiative, but it is limited to researchers working in California. Maybe all of the researchers will end up re-locating to California...
    That's a good sum up of the situation, not perfect but good.

    I would add that most of the times it is hard to tell the difference between big and shiny foundations and the pharmaceutical industry. I'll leave that there...

    On the other hand, I see it as the middle east revolutions. We are getting close to that same tipping point, that will get passed the current conventional wisdom. And that's why it is important to know this stuff, even though we think that just knowing won't change a thing. But you need to become maladjusted.

    Also, there are currently a few pathways parallel to the official (slow and expensive) ones that will help reaching that tipping point we need.
    Don't ask what clinical trials can do for you, ask what you can do for clinical trials.

    Fenexy: Proyecto Volver a Caminar

    http://www.fenexy.org (soon in english too)

  3. #1073

    Smile Chronics may be helped

    I received from Christopher Reeve forum 5/20/11 there may be a possible help with chronics. Search for epidural electrical stimulation for person injured in 2006 c7 t1 started to use FDA approved procedure for electrical stimulation to spinal cord 2009. Has noticed temperature regulating, toes, ankles, legs move on command with implanted device and standing with support. Next step to walk after chronic injury. Please also checkout www.projectwalkaustin.org helping SCI community.
    Aggie Mom 2007

  4. #1074

    Epidural Stimulation???

    <rant>

    I received more e-mails from well-intended friends about this than I can shake a stick at. (Sorry for non-English speakers -- silly idiomatic expression.)

    This is just about completely irrelevant as far as I can tell. I'm surprised that the Lancet even published this. First of all it was just ONE guy. This falls into the category of "anecdotal evidence" not any kind of research study.

    Second of all, the guy was ASIA B. He had sensation below the level of the injury before ANY therapy was started.

    Third of all, he underwent locomotor training for TWO YEARS before he began the epidural stimulation.

    Fourth, he exercised for as much as SIX HOURS A DAY after receiving the implants.

    Now he can walk with crutches for a short time and can wiggle his toes...

    Is it just me, or does that not sound like a real breakthrough...

    We don't even know if the improvement was due to the stimulation, the movement therapy, or just natural recovery.

    I'm not ASIA B, I am ASIA A.

    I don't have the time or money to spend THREE YEARS working FULL TIME on rehabilitation. I can only assume that this guy had a huge insurance settlement and doesn't need to work and can pay hundreds of thousands of dollars per year for therapy.

    I can't. And if I could, I would give that money to Dr. Davies so that EVERYBODY would benefit.

    </rant>

  5. #1075
    Quote Originally Posted by Charles Hansen View Post
    <rant>

    I received more e-mails from well-intended friends about this than I can shake a stick at. (Sorry for non-English speakers -- silly idiomatic expression.)

    This is just about completely irrelevant as far as I can tell. I'm surprised that the Lancet even published this. First of all it was just ONE guy. This falls into the category of "anecdotal evidence" not any kind of research study.

    Second of all, the guy was ASIA B. He had sensation below the level of the injury before ANY therapy was started.

    Third of all, he underwent locomotor training for TWO YEARS before he began the epidural stimulation.

    Fourth, he exercised for as much as SIX HOURS A DAY after receiving the implants.

    Now he can walk with crutches for a short time and can wiggle his toes...

    Is it just me, or does that not sound like a real breakthrough...

    We don't even know if the improvement was due to the stimulation, the movement therapy, or just natural recovery.

    I'm not ASIA B, I am ASIA A.

    I don't have the time or money to spend THREE YEARS working FULL TIME on rehabilitation. I can only assume that this guy had a huge insurance settlement and doesn't need to work and can pay hundreds of thousands of dollars per year for therapy.

    I can't. And if I could, I would give that money to Dr. Davies so that EVERYBODY would benefit.

    </rant>

  6. #1076

    Interesting News

    Most of you know about (and have at least tried to read!) Dr. Davies most recent paper on PLoS. In this one, human stem cells were transplanted into rats with outstanding results.

    One of my concerns with any type of stem-cell based therapy is that it could take years for sources of cells to found and/or approved before clinical trials begin, let alone routine treatment therapies. But I just found something interesting in a summary that Dr. Davies posted on the Unite 2 Fight Paralysis website (sponsors of the Working 2 Walk conference):

    Sources of human stem cells for making hGDAsBMP
    At present there are a variety of different sources of stem cells that could potentially be used to make the specific hGDAsBMP used in our experiments. However, although we are working with Dr. Proschel to make this type of human astrocyte from embryonic and adult (iPS) stem cells, our latest paper describes a clinically relevant means by which large numbers of beneficial hGDAsBMP can be rapidly made from fetal human GPCs that have been stimulated to undergo cell division in tissue culture. Theoretically enough human GPCs can be harvested from just one fetal spinal cord to generate enough human GDAsBMP cells to treat many people with spinal cord injuries. Deriving hGDAsBMP from fetal tissue therefore presents one approach by which this type of astrocyte can be translated from the lab to human use in the near future.

    The complete presentation (basically a summary of the PLoS paper) is available at:

    http://unite2fightparalysis.org/humangdaoverview

    I find this to be very encouraging indeed. Many of you may have heard about the efforts to use iPS (induced Pluripotent Stem) cells, where your own skin cells are transformed into stem cells. This sound attractive as it both sidesteps medical issues with donor rejection and political issues with the use of fetal cells.

    But recent work with iPS has been discouraging. Cells that were taken from animals and then re-injected were rejected by the animals. Apparently the process of turning the skin cells into stem cells also destroyed their "identity".

    http://www.regenexx.com/2011/05/more...-now-an-issue/ (An overview)

    http://news.sciencemag.org/scienceno...med-cells.html (A more technical look)

    If instead the required stem cells can be grown from a single fetal spinal cord, then this may prove to be more expedient than I thought. I believe that already clinical trials have begun for ALS patients using this very technique.

    http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releas...-nua021011.php

    Will spinal cord injuries be next?

  7. #1077

    Astrocytes cultivated in lab

    I saw this the other day and posted it. i thought this may be a viable source of cells for Davies' work.

    By Jennifer Welsh
    LiveScience
    updated 5/22/2011 4:20:13 PM ET 2011-05-22T20:20:13

    The most common brain cell, called the astrocyte, is often overlooked in the face of its cousin, the neuron. Researchers are finally realizing their importance and have, for the first time, been able to grow them in the lab.
    "Not a lot of attention has been paid to these cells because human astrocytes have been hard to get," study researcher Su-Chun Zhang, at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. "But we can make billions or trillions of them from a single stem cell."




    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/43128236...ience-science/

  8. #1078
    Anything new to report here, haven't heard a peep?

  9. #1079
    Yep !!
    keep (rolling) Walking

    Please join me and donate a dollar a day at http://justadollarplease.org and copy and paste this message to the bottom of your signature

  10. #1080

    Post Gov. Rick Perry has adult stem treatment in Texas

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim View Post
    Anything new to report here, haven't heard a peep?
    I thought Texas had not approved of this stem cell procedure?
    I would like to know how he had an unapproved FDA treatment in Texas by his personal physician whom had never performed a intracath injection according to press release 8/5/11
    In NY Times
    Aggie Mom 2007

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