Tag: Washington Post
Ashley Barnes was 35 years old when doctors told her she would never walk again.
A botched spinal procedure in 2014 paralyzed her from the waist down. The Tyler, Tex., resident had been an avid runner, clocking six miles daily when not home with her then-9-year-old autistic son, whom she raised alone. Life in a wheelchair was not an option.
“I needed to be the best mom I could be,” Barnes said. “I needed to be up and moving.”
It was the beginning of a summer that promised to be one of his best ever.
Josh Basile loved his new job as a lawyer at a top medical malpractice firm in Washington. He was smitten with a pretty, dark-haired young woman he’d started dating. And he was planning a big party to mark a momentous milestone: the 10-year anniversary of the day a wave slammed his body head-first into the hard sand of a Delaware beach, crushing the fifth vertebra below his skull and transforming him instantly from an 18-year-old college tennis player into a young man who could not brush his own teeth.
The world’s first test on patients of a treatment for spinal cord injury using human embryonic stem cells is so far proving safe, one year after the first of four patients received injections.
The treatment, developed by researchers at UC Irvine, involves injection of neural cells derived from human embryonic stem cells into the site of a spinal cord injury within seven to 14 days — known as “acute” injuries, as opposed to longer-term injuries known as “chronic.”
None of the patients has experienced any adverse reactions from the treatment, according to Geron Corp., which is conducting the trials, although a few “mild” adverse reactions were reported from a drug used to suppress the patients’ immune responses.