Stem cell from umbilical cord blood used to treat paralysis

Published: November 27, 2004  |  Source:


SEOUL — South Korean researchers say they’ve used stem cell therapy to enable a paralyzed patient to walk after she was not even able to stand for the last 19 years.

Chosun University professor Song Chang-hun, Seoul National University professor Kang Kyung-sun, and Han Hoon from the Seoul Cord Blood Bank said they transplanted multi-potent stem cells from umbilical cord blood into the 37-year-old female patient who suffered from a spinal cord injury, the Korea Times reported Saturday.

The woman could now walk unassisted, the scientists said.

“The stem cell transplantation was performed on Oct. 12 this year and in just three weeks she started to walk with the help of a walker,” Song told reporters at a news conference in Seoul.

The woman’s legs were paralyzed after an accident in 1985 that damaged her back and hips and confined her to a wheelchair.

The researchers said they isolated stem cells from umbilical cord blood and then injected them into the damaged part of the woman’s spinal cord.