Spinal cord is the main pathway of communication between brain and peripheral nervous system. Spinal cord injury (SCI) often leads to sensory and motor functional deficits below the injury level, causing severe disability and bringing heavy burden to family and society. Spinal cord injury repair is one of the most challenging medical problems, and no effective therapeutic methods has been developed. The spinal cord is a complex tissue composed of various types of nerve cells, nerve fibers, and blood vessels. After SCI, the injury distance usually reaches several centimeters, resulting in the loss of multiple cells and the interruption of neural connections.
Modern science can offer a lot of things, but the search for a miracle cure to spinal cord injury is dangerous on many levels.
It’s understandable that someone who has just been given life changing news will meet it with disbelief and doubt.
Say, for example, you’re told that an accident has left you with a fractured spine. Maybe it was a car crash. Perhaps it was a simple mistake like diving into a shallow pool or falling off a bike.
There are lots of technical terms being used by the people looking after you, yet all you really hear them saying is; “…you’ll never walk again.”
YORK, Pa. — A York County soldier left partially paralyzed when he was shot in Afghanistan nearly two years ago is banking on stem cells to help him regain movement.
Matthew Hanes, 22, of Manchester Township will head to China in April to undergo surgery to repair part of his damaged spinal cord.
Doctors essentially will use minor surgery and stem cell therapy to build a bridge over two vertebrae that were shattered when Hanes was shot.
China will probably have 1 million people with spinal cord injury in 2020 (80,000 per year). One third of the spinal cord injury people in the world. The US has about 10,000 spinal cord injury patients per year.
Wise Young, MD, PhD Professor and Chair, Department of Cell Biology and Neuroscience, Rutgers University Director, W.M. Keck Center for Collaborative Neuroscience Presents a talk at the March 2008 Spinal Cord Workshop: “Spinal Cord Injury: What are the barriers to cure?”
US-based Doctor Wise Young first used the word “cure” in relation to his work after a conversation with Reeve, the “Superman” hero who became quadriplegic in an equestrian accident in 1995.
Reeve contacted him looking for help and the two became close friends. The actor died of heart failure in 2004 at the age of 52, having devoted his life to raising awareness about spinal cord injuries and stem-cell research.
BEIJING — The Health Ministry ordered unapproved stem cell treatments stopped Tuesday as China tries to bring under control its growing but loosely regulated industry.
The ministry stopped accepting applications for stem cell procedures until July and is implementing a yearlong campaign to halt unauthorized stem cell therapy trials.
As of yet, scientists and researchers have not been able to completely reverse the damage caused by spinal cord injury, but a core group of experts in this fast-moving field have been making advances with therapies that can return function and make life easier for SCI patients.
On Nov. 5, the Institute for Advanced Reconstruction at The Plastic Surgery Center in Shrewsbury, N.J., will be hosting a symposium for medical professionals to discuss advancement in treatment for SCI patients.