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Stem Cells Help Paralyzed Patients Recover Feeling

For years, scientists have been experimenting (with varying degrees of success) with different types of stem cells to try and regenerate tissue damaged in the spinal cord after a traumatic event. According to bizjournals.com, scientists have seen for the first time ever, how neural stem cells injected into the injured areas of patients’ spinal cords have allowed these patients to recover feeling in areas where they had no sensation before.

Important Breakthrough

Three people paralyzed with broken spines were given injections of 20 million neural stem cells directly into the injured regions of their spinal cords. The cells came from donated fetal brain tissue, so the patients had to receive temporary courses of immunosuppressants to limit rejection of the cells. The injections were administered between four and eight months after their injuries occurred.

Prior to the treatment, none of them had any feeling below their nipples. Yet, six months into the treatment, two had recovered sensations of touch and heat between their chest and belly button.

According to Steven Huhn of StemCells, the company developing and testing the treatment, they have seen responses from these two patients to light touch, heat and electrical impulses, something that was very unexpected. Mr. Huhn says that the patients are very close to having normal responses to sensations in those areas.

All these responses are very important, especially the response to electrical impulses. This kind of response is particularly important because movement is accomplish after orders generated by the brain are transmitted through the spinal cord into the limbs in the form of electrical impulses.

It Would Take Time To Recover

The three subjects are part of a larger group of twelve, with the rest due to start receiving the treatment soon. According to Mr. Huhn, these results have been achieved after are only six months of treatment and they will continue to monitor these patients for years to come in the hope of seeing increased sensitivity in lower areas of their bodies. Although he data collected by the company is preliminary, Mr. Huhn speculates that there could be several reasons why the stem cells have helped improved sensitivity for these patients. For example, the cells may have helped to restore the myelin insulation to damaged nerves, which would improve the transmission of signals to and from the brain. Similarly, they could be enhancing the function of existing nerves, replacing them entirely or reducing the inflammation that prevents the nerve from being repaired.

The Lawyers of Greenberg Stone and Urbano Can Help

The lawyers at Greenberg Stone and Urbano have more than 75 years of combined experience helping victims of spinal cord injuries resulting from car accidents, motorcycle accidents, tractor-trailer accidents, accidents at amusement parks or any other kind of accident caused by someone else’s negligence recover the compensation that may be owed to them.

If you or a loved one have suffered a spinal cord injury as a result of a car accident, a motorcycle accident, a tractor-trailer accident, an accident at an amusement park or any other kind of accident, you should immediately contact a law firm experienced in handling these cases. Throughout the years, the Miami Dade County Car Accidents Law Offices of Greenberg, Stone & Urbano, have represented many clients involved in serious motor vehicle accidents that have caused spinal cord injuries.

Please visit our website to learn more about our firm and contact us today for a free consultation.

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