Thread: Stephen Davies Update

  1. #1291
    Quote Originally Posted by GRAMMY View Post
    Realistically, if he had "dramatic results" with Decorin you can bet your last dollar he would have rushed to publish it in a top notch journal like Nature or Science immediately rather than fooling around showing an increase of 4 extra days anti-inflammation study in neurosurgery after 6 years time. (You had pointed out a couple months ago that he was paranoid about someone taking his research ideas, remember?)...
    Hi Grammy,

    First of all, I am not an expert. I am only repeating things that were told to me by various people, including Dr. Davies. Secondly, my memory is very bad. If I write something that is incorrect, it is quite likely that I am simply misremembering what I was told.

    My understanding is that the quickest way to get something published is in PLoS. They have changed their site now and I can't find it, but PLoS was originally an acronym for something about publishing quickly online.

    On the other hand, while it is true that Nature and Science are the most respected and important journals, I am told that it takes a long time for a submitted paper to reach publication. I remember one time when Dr. Davies was wrestling to decide whether to publish quickly in PLoS or to take the extra time and effort to publish in Nature or Science.

    Also please remember that I did not say that "this is what happened". I said, "if I had to guess". My post was pure speculation. I haven't spoken with Dr. Davies in nearly a year.

    Quote Originally Posted by GRAMMY View Post
    A gridwalk test is used to just pick up small differences in footfalls. The 21 point BBB scores are very important and I think most sci researchers will confirm that when attempts are being made to develop a sci therapy.
    Just my opinion of course...
    Again, I am not an expert in this field. The only SCI research I have spoken with is Dr. Davies. He specifically told me that he felt the gridwalk test was much more discriminating than the BBB. I don't know any other SCI researchers, so I can't take a poll. And as is well known the majority can often be wrong.

    Or maybe it is Dr. Davies that is wrong. I don't know.

    For example this most recent paper is the first time that I have seen his work published where he used contusion injuries instead of transection injuries. Previously he told me that he preferred transection injuries because they were much more precisely repeatable.

    Did he change his mind? Did he develop a new method of creating more repeatable contusion injuries? Did he just use contusion injuries to silence his critics? Or was there some other reason entirely? I have no idea. I can only speculate.

    I think that Dr. Davies continues to make progress. Every paper he has published has shown new techniques, new methods, and each time with better results. Do I wish he would work more quickly? OF COURSE! There have been more than one occasion when he told me his plan for research and I felt that it was the wrong path, simply because it would add time to the schedule.

    I don't want to get out of this chair in ten years so that he can dot all of his "i"s and cross all of his "t" and re-invent the wheel. I want to get out of this chair today.

    And I also understand the position he is in. I am the principal designer at a company that develops electronic equipment. In my opinion there is no point to develop products that are just recycled ideas in new enclosures. In everything that I design, I want to incorporate new ideas that advances the level of performance that is achievable.

    It is both my greatest strength and my greatest weakness. The good part about it is that every product we make breaks new ground and sets new standards. The bad part about it is that it takes much longer to develop products. And what is worse, I cannot work to a schedule.

    When Detroit or Japan brings out a new model of car, they are basically making minor changes to their existing products. When Apple brings out a new line of iPods and iPhones, they are doing the same thing as the car companies. This kind of product "development" can deliver a new product every single year, working to a strict timeline because they are doing the same thing over and over and over.

    When I design a product I always run into problems that have never been solved before. I always end up solving them, but it adds long periods of time to the "schedule". I think that it is the same for Dr. Davies. He is continually working in new territory, and it becomes literally impossible to make accurate predictions regarding how long it will take to complete any particular task.

    Just my opinion.

  2. #1292
    Senior Member NWC4's Avatar
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    Quite frankly, after 31 years paralyzed from the neck down, there is nothing out there that excites me. I was very excited by Schmeky's report on Davies; thinking he would be soon thereafter (within a few years) move to human trials. After a few years with no news of moving to trials I feared Davies was sacrificing "good enough" for perfection. What I mean by “good enough” is results that could revolutionize life for a high quad like me by giving me back 2, 3 or 4 motor levels as opposed to a “cure”. Obviously my interpretation of what Davies had actually achieved was wildly over optimistic.

    I hope to be excited by Wise's clinical trial results and/or the Switzerland trial results, but at this point I'm skeptical that either will show good enough results to move to the general SCI population.

  3. #1293
    I am most hopeful on pten research for chronic regeneration. There are quite a few scientists working on this now. Os Steward (Reeve-Irvine Research Center) will be speaking regarding their progress at Working 2 Walk Conference Nov. 1 - 3. Attend if you can. Follow the blog if not.
    Karen M
    C 3/4 inc. central cord
    10/29/1992 - 18 years, but who counts?

  4. #1294
    Senior Member khmorgan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Charles Hansen View Post
    My understanding is that the quickest way to get something published is in PLoS. They have changed their site now and I can't find it, but PLoS was originally an acronym for something about publishing quickly online.
    For Charlie: http://www.plosone.org/home.action

    Concerning who's right and who's wrong, I think Drs Young, Kierstead, Davies, Silver, et al are all both right and sometimes wrong.

    What is important is that they are all progressing the science of neurology related to SCI, and that's what we all should want and cheer. Whether or not one or another of them overstates what they can deliver really shouldn't invoke the kind of hostility I've been reading here.

    If you don't want your hopes raised only to be disappointed, then don't read these forums, or read or attend any research presentations.

    I feel strongly that if a "cure" comes, all these doctors will have participated in it in some way.

    When one of the doctors fails to deliver what you thought he/she promised, we should cheer their efforts, not condemn them. How do you think it makes them feel? How would it make you feel? Would it make you feel like dedicating your life to helping people who won't tolerate any mistakes?

  5. #1295
    Quote Originally Posted by NWC4 View Post
    Quite frankly, after 31 years paralyzed from the neck down, there is nothing out there that excites me.
    A very honest and straight-forward post. Thank you for that.

    I am still very encouraged by Davies' result with rats, and very frustrated that he hasn't moved forward to human trials. I only know a few of the many reasons for this, and quite frankly, I am bitterly disappointed by the obstacles that are slowing things from moving forward. I look at the list of accomplishments, both with decorin and BMPGRP's with rats and have to believe that they would translate into significant gains (or possibly even a "cure") with humans. But for whatever reasons, it seems like it will be at least two or three years before we know.

    Again, thank you for the post.

  6. #1296
    Quote Originally Posted by Karen M View Post
    I am most hopeful on pten research for chronic regeneration. There are quite a few scientists working on this now. Os Steward (Reeve-Irvine Research Center) will be speaking regarding their progress at Working 2 Walk Conference Nov. 1 - 3. Attend if you can. Follow the blog if not.
    I am unfamiliar with the PTEN research. Do you have any links available?

    Thank you for your post.

  7. #1297
    Quote Originally Posted by khmorgan View Post
    Yes, I have read several papers over the years at PLOS. Originally it was spelled PLoS (I believe), with one of the letters in lower case because it was an acronym for something like "Publishing Library of Science". But I cannot remember nor can I find anything on the current website.[/QUOTE]

    Quote Originally Posted by khmorgan View Post
    Concerning who's right and who's wrong, I think Drs Young, Kierstead, Davies, Silver, et al are all both right and sometimes wrong.

    What is important is that they are all progressing the science of neurology related to SCI, and that's what we all should want and cheer. Whether or not one or another of them overstates what they can deliver really shouldn't invoke the kind of hostility I've been reading here.

    If you don't want your hopes raised only to be disappointed, then don't read these forums, or read or attend any research presentations.

    I feel strongly that if a "cure" comes, all these doctors will have participated in it in some way.

    When one of the doctors fails to deliver what you thought he/she promised, we should cheer their efforts, not condemn them. How do you think it makes them feel? How would it make you feel? Would it make you feel like dedicating your life to helping people who won't tolerate any mistakes?
    Excellent post and very well stated. Exactly the reason that Dr. Davies no longer posts here. Thank you for your thoughtful post.

  8. #1298
    Quote Originally Posted by Charles Hansen View Post
    I am unfamiliar with the PTEN research. Do you have any links available?
    Articles, abstracts and videos...not everything is here, but pretty fair for starters. http://spinalcordresearchandadvocacy...ss.com/?s=pten

  9. #1299
    Quote Originally Posted by Charles Hansen View Post
    I am unfamiliar with the PTEN research. Do you have any links available?

    Thank you for your post.
    A little bit more:
    Quote Originally Posted by jsilver View Post
    The work by Zhigang He and his collaborators (me being one of them) on the PTEN gene and mTOR pathway is extremely important. There is no doubt given the independent replication of the results in multiple labs, that knocking out PTEN in certain neuronal populations at early stages after birth and then lesioning the axons of those neurons in the adult leads to the most incredible, long distance regeneration right though the lesion scar in both the optic and cortico-spinal pathways that has ever been reported. In the spinal cord, the axons grow more than a centimeter past the lesion and in the optic system regeneration goes all the way to the chasm (where unfortunately an unknown boundary to growth has now appeared, bummer). However, looking at the data in its entirety we are still far from application of this strategy in a real clinical situation. We have to learn how to KO PTEN after injury and not before. This will likely utilize an Si RNA approach but it is not known what will happen to axons if PTEN is reduced after injury. Second, there is yet no information about functional recovery after PTEN deletion. Don't forget we need myelin to allow axons to function normally and re-myelination after injury does not occur. Third, for the cortico-spinal tract we have little information on the topographic precision that is needed after regeneration to promote useful recovery rather than misfiring muscle activity and all axons from the tract above the lesion are ending together caudal to the lesion. Can the spinal cord sort this out? that will be interesting to know. Also, the work has so far been done in mouse only, a species that does not develop a big cavitated lesion like the human or rat. So it will be far more difficult to get across or around such large lesion. Even PTEN KO may not be enough. We shall see. So while the PTEN story is one of the most celebrated new discoveries in SCI research, we still have quite a ways to go. I do know that Bob Yant, a well known SCI supporter, has helped to form a company around this technology. It is certainly likely that PTEN manipulation is going to be part of a combinatorial strategy for the future. We are using PTEN KO mice in combination with our bridging +ch'ase strategy hoping that PTEN deletion will allow the axons to blast their way out of the end our bridges and make many more connections. Somehow in the end we will surely have to turn the gene back on because of the risk of rampant overgrowth of their axons but also their dendrites which grow like thick hair after PTEN deletion.

    Jerry

  10. #1300
    Sounds like pTen work has at least a decade or more work before it can even start trials. Sounds like there are lots of things they still dont know about it not to mention its a cancer blocking agent. Turning it off seems scary, doesnt do any good to cure SCI if you then get cancer soon after. Be interested to hear what is said at W2W

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