Category: ‘Therapies and Procedures’


A New Japanese Stem Cell Treatment Raises Hopes — And Ethical Questions

Posted on September 10th, 2019

The country fast-tracked the controversial therapy, opening an international rift over who should make health care decisions.

Human Embryonic Stem Cells
Human Embryonic Stem Cells by Nissim Benvenisty [CC BY 2.5]

In 2015, Shinji Kusachi, a 47-year-old teacher living in the Japanese prefecture of Okayama, was high-diving at a local pool — a passion he had developed in his 30s — when a tricky dive went awry. “I hit my head on the bottom,” Kusachi recalled of the incident that damaged his spinal cord and left him mostly paralyzed. “They said I couldn’t use my arms and legs. I was really in despair.”

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Researchers Finding Ways to Improve Lives of Spinal Cord Injury Patients

Posted on August 13th, 2019

University of Louisville researchers are finding ways to help those who suffer catastrophic spinal cord injuries battle other health problems related to their injury.

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An ‘EpiPen’ for Spinal Cord Injuries

Posted on July 11th, 2019

An injection of nanoparticles can prevent the body’s immune system from overreacting to trauma, potentially preventing some spinal cord injuries from resulting in paralysis.

The approach was demonstrated in mice at the University of Michigan, with the nanoparticles enhancing healing by reprogramming the aggressive immune cells — call it an “EpiPen” for trauma to the central nervous system, which includes the brain and spinal cord.

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Nerve Transfer Surgery Restores Hand Function in Adults with Paralysis

Posted on July 5th, 2019

13 young adults with tetraplegia are able to feed themselves, hold a drink, brush their teeth, and write as a result of a novel surgical technique which connects functioning nerves with injured nerves to restore power in paralyzed muscles.

Nerve transfer surgery has enabled 13 young adults with complete paralysis to regain movement and function in their elbows and hands, according to the largest case series of this technique in people with tetraplegia (paralysis of both the upper and lower limbs), published in The Lancet.

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Gene inhibitor, salmon fibrin restore function lost in spinal cord injury

Posted on August 1st, 2014

A therapy combining salmon fibrin injections into the spinal cord and injections of a gene inhibitor into the brain restored voluntary motor function impaired by spinal cord injury, scientists at UC Irvine’s Reeve-Irvine Research Center have found.

In a study on rodents, Gail Lewandowski and Oswald Steward achieved this breakthrough by turning back the developmental clock in a molecular pathway critical to the formation of corticospinal tract nerve connections and providing a scaffold so that neuronal axons at the injury site could grow and link up again.

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