Olfactory ensheathing cells for spinal cord repair: crucial differences between subpopulations of the glia
OECs for spinal cord repair: Is repairing the injured spinal cord by olfactory ensheathing cell (OEC) transplantation possible? A recent human trial in which a paralysed man regained some function after transplantation of partially purified OECs suggests that this therapy may be a successful approach (Tabakow et al., 2014). In another human trial in which olfactory mucosa lamina propria was transplanted, patients recovered some motor and sensory function (Wang et al., 2015).
Three years after they treated patients with spinal cord injury in a randomized clinical trial with transplanted cells from the patients’ olfactory mucosa (nasal cavities) to build a ‘bridge’ to span the gap between the damaged ends of the spinal cord, researchers found that some recipients had experienced a range of modest improvements and determined that the use of olfactory mucosa lamina propria (OLP) transplants was ‘promising and safe.’
Sufferers can now be offered the possibility of cure thanks to a revolutionary implant of regenerative cells
Millions of paralysis sufferers are today offered the possibility of a cure for the first time after a new technique pioneered by British doctors allowed a man with a severed spinal cord to recover the ability to walk.
A revolutionary implant of regenerative cells has knitted back together the spinal cord of a wheelchair-bound firefighter paralysed from the chest down in a knife attack, restoring sensation and muscle control to his legs.
It is a moment I will always remember. On a warm summer’s day in Wroclaw, Poland, Darek Fidyka walked across a bridge, using only a frame for support.
This had been his dream for four years, after he was paralysed in a knife attack. Now, after a transplant of cells taken from his nasal cavity, it had become reality.
He is the world’s first patient to receive the groundbreaking treatment.
Behind those few steps lay the extraordinary efforts of a group of scientists, surgeons and fundraisers in Britain and Poland.
Scientists have used a special cell to regenerate damaged parts of dogs’ spines. Researchers are cautiously excited about these results which could potentially have a future role in the treatment of human patients with similar spinal injuries.
For many years, scientists have been aware that olfactory ensheathing cells (OEC) could be helpful in treating the damaged spinal cord because of their distinctive properties. The unique cells have the capacity to support nerve fiber growth that preserves a pathway between the nose and the brain.