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Spinal injury patient shows improvement

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Chandigarh, March 28: A spinal cord injury victim who was a subject of stem cell experimentation at PGI has shown tremendous progress, doctors said today. Uggar Sain had undergone surgery and after adequate decompression and stabilisation, stem cells had been placed in the vicinity of the injured spinal cord, with the hope that there may be Regeneration of the injured neuro tissue.

“This was done on December 20, 2006, and in three months time the patient has been able to walk,” said Professor of Department of Orthopaedics at PGI Dr Raj Bahadur. “Sain was a Paraplegic. He was unable to pass urine, there was no movement in his limbs and neither did they have any sensation. Keeping in view all these factors, the progress he has made is tremendous,” Dr Bahadur said.

However, he emphasised that ascertaining the cause of recovery needed more research. “We do not know whether it was the decompression and stabilisation, the stem cells or the surgery that has helped him,” Dr Bahadur said. “We need to collect evidence to pinpoint the cause. We have proposed a project to this affect to the PGI Research Committee and the Ethics Committee,” he said. He added that Sain’s case should give a ray of hope to other patients who became disabled after such an injuries. “Stem cells from the bone marrow are autologous, which means that they can be acquired from the patient and are easily available,” Dr Bahadur said. “Therefore, the scope of research is considerable and there are not many ethical issues.”

Express News Service

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