Stem cell has been a boon to the modern medical research, and it has been creating success stories almost everyday. The research regarding stem cell therapy creates another success story again in treating spinal cord injury.
What is spinal cord injury?
Spinal cord injuries causes myelopathy or damage to white matter or myelinated fiber tracts that carry signals to and from the brain. It also damages gray matter in the central part of the spine, causing segmental losses of interneurons and motorneurons. Spinal cord injury can occur from many causes, including:
- Trauma such as automobile crashes, gunshots, diving accidents, war injuries, etc.
- Tumor such as meningiomas, ependymomas, astrocytomas, and metastatic cancer.
- Ischemia resulting from occlusion of spinal blood vessels, including dissecting aortic aneurysms, emboli, arteriosclerosis.
- Developmental disorders, such as spina bifida, meningomyolcoele, and other.
- Neurodegenerative diseases, such as Friedreich’s ataxia, spinocerebellar ataxia, etc.
- Demyelinative diseases, such as Multiple Sclerosis.
- Transverse myelitis, resulting from spinal cord stroke, inflammation, or other causes.
- Vascular malformations, such as arteriovenous malformation (AVM), dural arteriovenous fistula (AVF), spinal hemangioma, cavernous angiomaand aneurysm.
How stem cell can cure spinal cord injury?
Generally adult stem cells are injected into the bones for the development of the spinal cord cells, after obtaining them from the bone marrows. There are several success stories related to stem cell therapy in spinal cord injury. Here is another story to add to your bank.
In July 2006 M.H. aged 34 experienced an unpleasant burning sensation in both legs. He lost the ability to walk and rapidly lost bladder and bowel control. After investigations he was diagnosed as having an operable tumor on his spinal cord.
Post-surgery and radiotherapy Mr. H. had no sensation at all in his legs, a slight improvement in bladder function and no bowel control whatsoever. Faced with a life in a wheelchair he and his brother searched for what help might be available. Like so many patients, his doctors counseled acceptance of his lot in life but his family felt that advances in cellular medicine might offer him some chance of help.
When interviewed in Bangkok Mr. H. and his brother were cautiously optimistic that they’d done the right thing. Doing nothing was not an option. They knew that thousands of patients have been treated safely with adult stem cells and that around 70 percent had gained some, or significant improvement. They were delighted with the care they received and with the devoted medical and nursing staff. There was no lack of time to have all his questions fully answered and he received complementary therapies aimed at enhancing the uptake and repair capabilities of the stem cells. Now he just has to wait and see if he can get some better quality of life back so that he can resume work and play with his children.
Spinal cord injured patients are offered state-of-the -art care and attention with tailor-made adult stem cell therapies available nowhere else in the world. At least there is the realistic hope now that things can change and improve.
Really these stories not only makes us proud about the advancement of medical research but also gives a moral boost to any reader. Stem cell therapy has been a boon to our society and we wish many success to it. We would be happy to hear from you too, if you have any success story about the stem cell research to share.