Thread: Stephen Davies Update

  1. #1301
    Thanks to Grammy for the links, and to Kivi66 for the summary from Jerry Silver. This is very interesting research, and also very promising, but I agree with Havok that it is at least a decade (if not two) away from any human trials.

    I have been told that when a child is in the womb that it can recover from almost any brain injury. But this ability to repair the CNS is lost within two hours (IIRC) after birth. Clearly the act of birth triggers some sort of change in the basic biochemistry of the CNS.

    The PTEN sounds very tricky, just from a scientific standpoint. Dr. Davies' BMP-GRP's sound very promising from a scientific standpoint, but require the use of embryonic stem cells which is very tricky politically, at least in this country.

    That is why I am mostly interested in the decorin research. The abstract that Dr. Young posted from Davies' most recent paper seems the most promising for the short term. There are no political problems, as is the case with any kind of stem cell-based therapy. And the application is the opposite of the PTEN -- it is dead simple.

    Dr. Davies simply inserted a catheter into the dura surrounding the spinal cord and infused the cerebro-spinal fluid with the decorin. The decorin knew where to go and what to do all by itself. My understanding is that it "turns back the clock" for a period of a few weeks, so that an adult can have the same regeneration of the CNS that is present in a fetus.

    I would love to read the entire paper. Does anyone have access to it?

    Also some of the posts I read implied that another lab tried to replicate Davies' results with decorin but without success. If this is the case, does anyone have links to that? (I'm sorry that I might be asking questions that have already been discussed, but as I posted earlier I was basically completely out of it for seven months while in the hospital.)

  2. #1302
    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?
    GREAT post khmorgan. I think you have an excellent perspective on the quest for therapies that restore function (the word "cure" is a bit idealistic, in my opinion).

    May God bless ALL the researchers trying to restore function in our paralyzed bodies!

    Wheelchair users -- even high-level quads... WANNA BOWL?

    I'm a C1-2 with a legit 255 high bowling game.

  3. #1303
    Quote Originally Posted by Charles Hansen View Post
    This is very interesting research, and also very promising, but I agree with Havok that it is at least a decade (if not two) away from any human trials.
    GRAMMY, apply a little balm to our wounded souls, ask Jerry Silver or, may be, Oswald Steward to eradicate these "decades" from our lexicon.

  4. #1304
    Also some of the posts I read implied that another lab tried to replicate Davies' results with decorin but without success. If this is the case, does anyone have links to that? (I'm sorry that I might be asking questions that have already been discussed, but as I posted earlier I was basically completely out of it for seven months while in the hospital.)


    "Human bone marrow stromal cells (hBMSC) in combination with Decorin for repair of the injured spinal cord."
    Chief Investigators: Dr Paul Simmons, Professor Silviu Itescu (UM), 
Dr Giles Plant (UWA),Dr Stuart Hodgetts (UWA)
    Lead Organisations: Victoria Neuroscience Initiative(VNI)
    StepAhead Australia Ltd
    Collaborating Organisations: University of Western Australia;
    University of Melbourne (St. Vincent’s Hospital)
    Browns Foundation, Institute of Molecular Medicine, University of Texas Health Science Center. Houston

    Project Commencement Date: August, 2007
    Project Completion Date: November, 2010

    Total Value of Project $936,000 over 3 years


    Results
    Functional recovery is not significantly improved in animals subjected to decorin infusion via pump (either isoform) compared to control (injury only) animals in both acute and chronic SCI.

    The extent to which decorin may provide any functional recovery after contusion SCI remains unclear, but may be related to delivery. It is also unclear as to why treatment with either isoform of decorin appears to provide the same outcome in any treatment regime.

  5. #1305
    Quote Originally Posted by jsilver View Post
    "Human bone marrow stromal cells (hBMSC) in combination with Decorin for repair of the injured spinal cord."

    <snip>

    Results
    Functional recovery is not significantly improved in animals subjected to decorin infusion via pump (either isoform) compared to control (injury only) animals in both acute and chronic SCI.

    The extent to which decorin may provide any functional recovery after contusion SCI remains unclear, but may be related to delivery. It is also unclear as to why treatment with either isoform of decorin appears to provide the same outcome in any treatment regime.
    Thank you very much for the summary Dr. (?) Silver. I must admit that this is quite puzzling to me. It seems that there are only two possibilities:

    a) There was some unknown difference in the experiments that resulted in different outcomes.

    b) Dr. Davies has fabricated his results.

    Personally, having met Dr. Davies on several occasions, I simply cannot believe that (b) is the answer. So I have to assume that it is (a) instead. As you note, the Australian study showed no difference between the two isoforms, which in general, is quite unusual for almost any biological process in any species. That tends to reinforce the idea that (a) is the answer to this puzzle.

    Has anyone spoken with Dr. Davies to get his opinion on this? If I'm not mistaken, I seem to recall him saying that some labs in China had gotten excellent results even with low-grade decorin that was only about 40% pure. But again, I could be misremembering things again.

    I don't think we should give up on decorin until this puzzle is solved, especially since Dr. Davies just published a new decorin study in "Neurosurgery" just this month. Obviously this is a well respected, peer-reviewed journal, and they wouldn't publish his work if they thought there was something wrong with the way the research was conducted.

    Thanks again for your prompt reply.

  6. #1306
    In additional to Giles Plant's replication attempt Anne Logan's lab here in the the UK has been working with Decorin extensively for many years. They had discussed collaboration with Davies in the context of Decorin but Davies has not followed the original discussions up. They have unlimited access to clinical grade Decorin here in the UK too.

  7. #1307
    Quote Originally Posted by Charles Hansen View Post
    Has anyone spoken with Dr. Davies to get his opinion on this? .
    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

  8. #1308
    Dr. Davies just published a new decorin study in "Neurosurgery" just this month.


    I just wanted to provide a link to the negative results that you inquired about. I'm not commenting on the validity of the finding. The "test of time" will determine whether or not decorin is as robust a treatment for SCI as Dr. Davies has made it out to be. Indeed, the Logan lab has studied decorin for some time but she has never claimed any evidence of robust regeneration nor functional benefit from decorin treatment. Giles Plant and his team are a very well respected group of researchers in our field, so if and when his paper on decorin is published, it will have a major impact. Also, could you provide us with a link or the reference itself of the recent Davies paper in Neurosurgery? All I can find is an August abstract of an oral presentation and this is not a legitimate publication.

  9. #1309
    Quote Originally Posted by jsilver View Post
    Also, could you provide us with a link or the reference itself of the recent Davies paper in Neurosurgery? All I can find is an August abstract of an oral presentation and this is not a legitimate publication.
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22811185

    In the upper left corner it says "Neurosurgery. 2012 Aug;71(2):E576."

    I don't know enough about the nomenclature of these to know if this is a printed article or an oral presentation. I assume the former because of the date, but I have been wrong before.

  10. #1310
    Well, now I am more confused than ever. I went to the "Neurosurgery" website and they list the table of contents for the August issue:

    http://journals.lww.com/neurosurgery/toc/2012/08000

    It lists the page numbers as:

    August 2012 - Volume 71 - Issue 2

    pp: N12-N13,197-502,E495-E582

    and this includes the pages from the PubMed website for the Davies article. But I don't know what the "E" prefix means. And there is no sign of this article in the table of contents for that issue.

    Also the PubMed website quotes "Neurosurgery. 2012 Aug;71(2):E576" which implies that the paper is only 1 page long, which makes no sense to me.

    So perhaps the "E" prefix only refers to oral presentations. If so, it is my mistake and I apologize for the error.

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