A new stem cell therapy is introduced for the spinal cord injuries known as Mesenchymal Stem cell (MSC) therapy. This research was conducted by a team of doctors at Stempeutics Research, Bangalore.
In this research, the MSC’s were directly injected into the spinal cord of the patients for maximum efficacy. It was injected either intra-arterially or through intra-spinal (site of injury) route. This technique of injecting stem cells close to the affected area showed good results. “This is the first time anyone has tried injecting stem cells directly into the injured area. And we got good results,” says Dr Sujay Rao, consultant neurosurgeon, St Philomenas Hospital, Bangalore. “This system maximizes the yield of stem cells. The chances of loss in the bloodstream is minimized,” Rao explains.
Traditionally, stem cells were injected either through intravenous dips or through lumber puncture directly into the Cerebro Spinal fluid. But when injected this way, stem cells float round the body, or in the blood stream, causing very few to reach the target place. Moreover, in case of spinal cord injuries, the adjoining tissues let out a signal called cytobine signals, which attract stem cells from other parts of body to heal the injury. But in case of an old injury, these signals are not let out anymore. Therefore, the stem cells that are injected in the body through the traditional method may not get attracted to the injury at all. This new method takes care of all this. Here, MSCs are injected directly into the injury for maximum effect. These can create tissues or cartilage or bones as required by the injury and repair it.
This therapy has already been sucessful in case of some patients, such as Namita, who was suffering in spinal cord injury for 16 years, and thus was bound to the wheel chair all these years. Now, after starting this new therapy, she is able to move her legs. She can also move few steps with the help of walker.
The new therapy from Stempeutics Research could thus provide a new hope for the spinal injury patients who have tried out all other treatments. It may not be a miracle cure. In fact, the success rate could be 10-15%. Yet, it can significantly improve the quality of life of some of these patients at least,” Rao explains.
Source :- The Times Of India