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Monthly Archives: February 2009

Man receives therapy in China

Published: February 27, 2009

xl1HOYLETON — As a speech therapist who works in the King City and surrounding area, Kelly Melton knows how difficult it is to overcome a disability. Now Melton is hoping her husband’s trip to China will help him further recover from a paralyzing injury with medical treatment not authorized here in the United States — umbilical cord stem cell treatment.

Chuck Melton has been paralyzed since 2002 as a result of a diving accident, when he dove into a lake and broke his neck, fracturing the C-7 vertebrae between his shoulder blades. The complete spinal cord injury left him paralyzed from the shoulders down, limiting use of his arm and hands.

Tackling spinal cord injuries

Published: February 25, 2009

amd_dr_ragnarssonDr. Ragnarsson is a physiatrist (specialist in physical medicine and rehabilitation) and professor and chairman of the Department of Rehabilitation Medicine at Mount Sinai. Since 1971, he has been treating patients with physical disability. He oversees the treatment of almost 2,000 patients admitted each year with new disability which may be the result of spinal cord or brain injury, stroke or amputation.

Molecules Self-assemble To Provide New Therapeutic Treatments

Published: February 22, 2009

ScienceDaily (Feb. 22, 2009) — Researchers in the laboratory of Samuel I. Stupp at Northwestern University have an interesting approach for tackling some major health problems: gather raw materials and then let them self-assemble into structures that can address a multitude of medical needs.

At the core of the research are peptide amphiphiles (PA), small synthetic molecules that Stupp first developed seven years ago, which have been essential in his work on regenerative medicine.

Degree of difficulty

Published: February 22, 2009

doc49a0e861a3cfe273806600Three years ago, when the family appeared publicly for the first time since Tyson Gentry’s spinal cord injury, Bob Gentry said something that has resonated with me ever since.

Someone asked Bob, a father of three, what his family learned from each other through such a trying ordeal.

“Our strength as a family is kind of tough to beat,” Bob said. “We didn’t have to say, ‘Geez, I wish we’d have done this’ or ‘Why didn’t we think of that?’ We didn’t have regrets of any kind. That’s not us as a family.”

Stem cell ‘cure’ boy gets tumour

Published: February 18, 2009

A boy treated with foetal stem cells for a rare genetic disease has developed benign tumours, raising questions about the therapy’s safety.stemcellresearch

The boy, now 17, received the stem cells in 2001 at a Moscow hospital and four years later scans showed brain and spinal tumours, PLoS Medicine reports.

Israeli doctors removed the abnormal growth from his spine and tests suggest it sprouted from the stem cells.

Critics say the finding is evidence against the controversial therapy.

Apart from the ethics of using cells taken from embryos, opponents say there are big safety concerns.

Life as a disabled dad: leg-lifting

Published: February 18, 2009

chair385Ah, my legs. Since my spinal cord injury they are like jellies wrapped around a pair of golf clubs. They feel nothing and do nothing but act as counterweights as I throw myself in and out of my wheelchair.

They are still a part of me, it’s just that they don’t really have a role any more. But Rosalie’s interaction with my legs is fascinating. She often likes to walk on them when I am lying down, and I have to tick her off, as she could easily break my ankle, and the first I would know about it would be when my foot turned blue.

Cash boost coming for stagnant U.S. medical research

Published: February 17, 2009

After years of stagnant funding, medical research in the United States is set for a big cash infusion that experts expect will boost work on a range of ailments as well studies involving human embryonic stem cells.

The $787 billion economic stimulus measure President Barack Obama signed on Tuesday includes $10 billion for the National Institutes of Health, with more than $8 billion of it to fund medical studies and the rest to upgrade research facilities.

Microscopic fibers string spinal cord back together

Published: February 15, 2009

With plans just approved for the first trial to treat spinal cord injuries in humans with embryonic stem cells, a team of Northwestern scientists is tackling the problem from a different angle: through microscopic messenger molecules that can tell the disconnected nerve cells to re-grow.

The molecules are called nanofibers, and scientists at Northwestern’s Institute for BioNanotechnology in Medicine are exploring their potential to treat problems ranging from severed spinal cords to Parkinson’s disease.

Worcester Warriors’ Latham tells of horror spinal injury

Published: February 15, 2009

WORCESTER’S Wizard of Oz Chris Latham has spoken for the first time about the spinal injury that caused him to lose feeling in his arms and legs.

The former Australia international revealed how fear gripped him as he lay on the Sixways pitch, unable to move after what he describes as a ‘freak accident’.

FDA Clears Way For Human Embryonic Stem Cell Therapy

Published: February 15, 2009

cellresearch10_01New York, NY (NBC) — The Food and Drug Administration has cleared the way for the first-ever human trial of a medical treatment, derived from embryonic stem cells.

The company plans to start testing this embryonic stem cell therapy on patients with spinal cord injuries.

Members of one spinal cord injury peer support group are buzzing about Menlo Park Company’s efforts to use embryonic stem cell therapy on people with spinal cord injuries.

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