22 October 2014

Stem cells on the way to the clinic: spinal cord injury

Researchers at the University of California, San Diego (UCSD) They were among the first to realize the dreams of many specialists who have been studying the possibility of using stem cells in clinical practice for many years. One of the ambitious innovative clinical studies they are currently conducting is devoted to assessing the safety of transplantation of small doses of nerve stem cells in spinal cord injuries. At the same time, the researchers hope that experimental therapy will improve the condition of the participants.

The phase I clinical trial, planned jointly with the biotech company Neuralstem, will be conducted for 5 years with the participation of 4 patients paralyzed as a result of spinal cord injuries.

In preclinical experiments, scientists injected human neural stem cells into the spinal cord of rats with simulated spinal cord injuries. The transplanted stem cells demonstrated active growth and division and ensured the formation of contacts between neurons preserved around the injury zone. This provided significant improvements in the motor function of the animals with minimal side effects.

The aim of the clinical study, led by Dr. Joseph Ciacci, is to study the possibility of obtaining similar effects in human stem cell transplantation. The researchers also plan to evaluate the possible therapeutic effects of the procedure, such as reducing the severity of paralysis and improving motor and sensory functions, bowel and bladder function, as well as pain levels.

The first participant in the study was a 26-year-old woman who was paralyzed a year ago as a result of a car accident. On September 30, nerve stem cells were injected into her spinal cord injury zone. Currently, the patient has been discharged from the clinic and is recovering at home.

Evgeniya Ryabtseva
Portal "Eternal youth" http://vechnayamolodost.ru based on UCSD Health Sciences: Promise Put to the Test.


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