NEW YORK (Reuters) – ProNeuron Biotechnologies Inc. on Monday said it was beginning U.S. clinical trials of an ambitious new drug aimed at improving the condition of patients who would otherwise remain paralyzed throughout their lives.
The experimental treatment, ProCord, until now has been tested primarily in Israel, where the small, privately held company is based.
Actor Christopher Reeve, two scientists who discovered an arthritis therapy and a researcher who helped show how cells read their genes have won prestigious medical awards.
The prizes, from the Albert and Mary Lasker Foundation, will be awarded Friday in New York. In the last 11 years, 15 scientists who received one have gone on to win a Nobel Prize.
The treated monkeys, which had suffered paralysis in one hand, regained 80 per cent of the movement they had lost.
Up to 12 months of further study is needed to confirm these results and, in particular, to see if there are any serious side effects.
“This is one more step on a very long road,” cautioned Eric Rouiller, professor of neurophysiology at Fribourg University.
BY PAULA BRADY – Staff Reporter
A new study by Yale researchers has found a possible explanation for chronic pain in patients with spinal cord injuries.
Conduction of signals in nerve cells is controlled by molecular “batteries” called sodium channels. The study found that injured nerve cells tend to produce more sodium channels that transmit pain signals to the brain, resulting in chronic pain after injury.
Scientists say they have successfully restored feeling to patients paralysed for at least two years.
A team from the University of San Paulo in Brazil said 12 out of 30 spinal cord patients responded to electrical stimulation of their paralysed limbs.
The researchers harvested stem cells from the patients’ blood, and reintroduced them into the artery supplying the area which was damaged.
Patients are feeling a sensation of hope
Robert Smith, 46, of Harrison Township underwent a Chinese procedure to help him regain movement.
The first American spinal cord patient to undergo a fetal cell transplant procedure — a Harrison Township man paralyzed in a Lake St. Clair diving accident — is regaining some movement and sensation a month after the experimental operation in China.
A teenager who was paralysed from the neck down in a car accident has taken her first steps – despite being told she would never walk again.
Gemma Quinn, 19, from Woolton, Merseyside, suffered severe spinal injuries in a car accident 11 years ago.
She was told she would always be reliant on a Ventilator and a wheelchair.
Gemma said it felt “amazing” to be able to walk again.
FRIDAY, July 25 (HealthDayNews) — Researchers at Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions have identified a protein that promotes the growth of tentacle-like axons on nerve cells.
The finding could eventually help scientists develop ways to rebuild nerves lost to spinal cord injuries or degenerative conditions such as Huntington’s disease. Researchers have spent decades trying to find signals that guide axons and lets these cell tips reach out to distant targets.
Scientists have uncovered evidence that actor Christopher Reeve could make a full recovery from paralysis if his spinal injury can be fixed.
Reeve, the star of the Superman films, was paralysed from the neck down after damaging his spinal cord in a riding fall seven years ago.
But doctors at Washington University School of Medicine in St Louis, US, have discovered that his brain has maintained a near-normal ability to detect feeling and movement.
Transplanted stem cells can improve Motor skills in injured rats
FRIDAY, Aug. 30 (HealthDayNews) — Japanese researchers are reporting yet another advance in the repair of damaged body parts using fetal stem cells.
This one could be big because it involves spinal cords, experts say.