Daily Archives: September 14, 2016
An experimental stem cell therapy developed by Asterias Biotherapeutics restored some movement to patients paralyzed by recent spinal cord injuries, according to interim data from a small study being presented on Wednesday.
One of the five patients in the trial regained use of both arms and hands, and is now able to feed himself, send texts on a phone and operate a wheelchair, the Fremont, California-based company said.
Three months after the cells were implanted, the study met its efficacy goal of two patients regaining return of two motor levels of functioning on at least one side of their body, the company said.
All five people in the study have experienced some upper extremity improvement so far, Asterias said.
ROCKINGHAM — About two and a half years ago, 24-year-old Kandace Frye’s life took an unexpected turn following a car accident that left her without sensation or motor control of her entire body from just below her shoulders down — but living with a wheelchair hasn’t stopped Frye from working as a membership representative for FirstHealth Fitness Center in Richmond County.
With help from Katie Sewell, a FirstHealth physical therapist, Frye has discovered creative ways to overcome the accessibility issues people with spinal cord injuries encounter — especially, said Sewell, in rural cities.
Locomotor training is helping Emmalie, who was unable to walk after suffering a spinal cord injury, take steps, sit up on her own and improve her range of motion. Andrea Behrman, PhD, professor in the UofL Department of Neurosurgery, researches locomotor training in children at UofL.
“It turns out the spinal cord is really really smart. And it may be as smart as the brain,” Behrman said. “The brain gets information, listens to it, reads it, responds, integrates it and generates an outcome. When (the researchers) found that out, they said ‘I wonder if anybody can use this information in rehabilitating people with spinal cord injuries?’ And the answer is yes.”