Tag: Stem Cell Research
Spinal cord injuries can have lasting and devastating effects on mobility and cognitive function due to permanent nerve cell damage or death. A new study from researchers at Temple University now shows how neuronal connections can be regenerated after such injuries.
Neurons contain structural appendages called axons which form connections with each other throughout the brain and greater parts of the body. These axons form an interconnected communication system that regulates sensory and motor functions; injury to axons can result in their breakage, leading to irreversible damage.
Early research at Mayo Clinic using stem cell therapy to treat spinal cord injuries has produced results for one patient that doctors describe as “beyond expectations.”
In a collaboration led by EPFL (Ecole polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne) in Switzerland and UCLA (University of California at Los Angeles) in the USA, scientists have now understood the underlying biological mechanisms required for severed nerve fibers to regenerate across complete spinal cord injury, bridging that gap in mice and rats for the first time.
The adult mammalian body has an incredible ability to heal itself in response to injury. Yet, injuries to the spinal cord lead to devastating conditions, since severed nerve fibers fail to regenerate in the central nervous system. Consequently, the brain’s electrical commands about body movement no longer reach the muscles, leading to complete and permanent paralysis.
Scientists developing robust method to treat spinal cord injuries using nose cells
Researchers have designed a new way to grow nose cells in the lab heralding hope for sufferers of spinal cord injuries, including those who are wheelchair bound.
Griffith University’s Mr Mo Chen grew nose nerve cells in the lab, which can treat mice with spinal cord injuries.
During the past 2 decades, cell-based therapies for SCI have been researched in several studies. Replacement of damaged neural tissues and re-establishing connections between the central and peripheral nervous system is vital for the treatment strategy for patients with SCI. Thus, the cells having a potential of self-renewal and differentiating into multiple cell types would be best suited for patients with SCI. Dr Geeta Shroff, director Nutech Mediworld, in a recent research has published report on how human embryonic stem cells (hESC’s) can treat spinal cord injuries (SCI). The findings are first of its kind as the cell line developed was free from animal products and chromosomally stable. The uniqueness about the cell line that makes it exclusive is that the process of cell line was derived from a single hESC which is already patented and published in her earlier reports.
Laura Dominguez-Tauer is a living, breathing example of what it takes to overcome adversity. An oil spill on a San Antonio freeway is blamed for the car crash that sent Laura and her brother directly into a retaining wall in 2001. As she lay tangled in the middle of the car, she heard a paramedic say, “get a neck brace, she has a broken neck.”
“I didn’t feel anything. I couldn’t move my arms, I couldn’t move my hands,”
Laura was paralyzed from the neck down. “I didn’t feel anything. I couldn’t move my arms, I couldn’t move my hands,” Laura said.
Immune cells populating spinal cord after injury affect ability of stem cells to promote recovery
A new study in mice published in The Journal of Neuroscience details a potential therapeutic strategy that uses stem cells to promote recovery of motor activity after spinal cord injury.
The transplantation of neural stem cells could help promote repair of an injured spinal cord, but the interaction between donor cells and the resident cells that are part of the body’s immune response to injury is not well understood.
Until World War II, people with spinal cord injuries had few treatment or rehabilitation options. And even today, spinal cord injuries can have catastrophic effects on everything from mobility to sensation, bladder, bowel and sexual function.
However, over the past 20 years, several breakthroughs in spinal cord repair and technology have emerged. No single breakthrough has achieved a full repair, but each has advanced our understanding of the complexities of spinal cord injuries. Here are ten of the most important advances in spinal cord injury repair.
Controversy surrounds the link between Australian of the Year Alan Mackay Sim’s research and a Polish team who restored mobility for a paraplegic man.
For many people suffering from disabling conditions, such as Parkinson’s disease, spinal injury and paralysis, multiple sclerosis, macular degeneration, heart disease, renal failure and even cancer, announcements in the press around breakthroughs in stem cell research undoubtedly bring hope.
The challenge remains how to accurately communicate what is genuinely possible in terms of therapies and what we scientists hope might be possible but do not yet have strong evidence for.
Stem cell research is often controversial but it has also led to incredible medical progress in recent years.
Stem cell research is at defining moment. Although it can be controversial and does raise a lot of important ethical issues, this area of medical science has been characterised by a number of important advances, ever since the first embryonic stem cells were isolated from mice in the 1980s. In the near future, it could reshape the way we treat some of the world’s most debilitating diseases.
Stem cells have already been used as treatment for a number of years – think bone marrow transplant – and they have the potential to help with many other medical conditions.