According to a recent experimental stem cell therapy treatment developed by Asterias Biotherapeutics, stem cell therapy may be helping patients with spinal cord paralysis regain some motor functions and movement.
20 years ago, the company discovered human embryonic stem cells could be grown to form other tissue types such as oligodendrocytes, the cells responsible for protecting nerves. Since then, the company has worked to develop their discovering into a treatment that could help prevent nerves from dying.
After their initial animal trials had shown promise, Asterias began their experimental stem cell therapy in five patients. A neurosurgeon injected stem cells into the site of the spinal cord between two and four weeks after the patient was injured. With the hope that they could restore signals to the brain before scar tissue forms and the nerves die. Stem cells are incredibly versatile in the medical community as they have the unique ability to transform into several other types of cells used in the body.
Of the five patients initially injected with the stem cells, one of them has regained use of both arms and hands. He is now able to send text messages, feed himself and use a wheelchair. Another two of the five patients were regained the use of two motor levels on one side of their body three months after the stem cells were implanted. Asterias reports that all five of the patients have reported improvement on upper extremity functions.
At Arizona Center for Advanced Medicine, we provide stem cell-based therapies designed to help treat spinal cord injuries, hip injuries, and knee injuries. Our Scottsdale stem cell treatment center can provide a safe, comfortable and relaxing environment for both patients and visitors. Call today for a free consultation: (480) 418-0220!