Daily Archives: February 24, 2010
Medical science has come a long way since the days of Hippocrates. The discovery of wonder drugs called antibiotics, the formulation of anaesthesia that revolutionised surgery, the discovery of monoclonal antibodies to treat various diseases etc, are medical milestones that have paved the road to modern medicine that exists today.
Along with technological advancement, medical science also continues to advance. The latest discovery having the potential of becoming the elixirs of life is the small microscopic cluster of cells, also called ‘stem cells’. Once just a small inclusion in cryptic health journals, these microscopic cells are now making headlines with not just the medical fraternity, but also with the political diaspora, who are debating on the moral principles of stem cell research.
Researchers at UTHealth have demonstrated in rats that transplanting genetically modified adult stem cells into an injured spinal cord can help restore the electrical pathways associated with movement. The results are published in the Feb. 24 issue of the Journal of Neuroscience.
In spinal cord injury, demyelination, or the destruction of the myelin sheath in the central nervous system, occurs. The myelin sheath, produced by cells called oligodendrocytes, wraps around the axons of nerves and helps speed activity and insulate electrical conduction. Without it, the nerves cannot send messages to make muscles move.
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This is the latest from Dr. Dan:
I was developing a cold last month and I went to the CVS to pick up some cough drops. No big thing. Well, for a C5/6 quadriplegic it is a big thing. It’s such a big thing that when I put the bag with the cough drops in my van, I felt a little drop of joy, of pride. And I thought “who else in the world would feel this kind of joy after buying a bag of cough drops?”