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Ten frequently asked questions concerning cure of spinal cord injury

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    Dr. Young,

    I did not mean to infer that you are not or would not be receptive to other therapies. I know you are.

    I do, however know that your lab is working on potential therapies to test in the SCINET, and I was curious as to how much functional recovery has been observed on chronic contused animal models to date.

    Comment


      I left this forum 4 years ago because many people beleived here that there will be a cure surely in 5 years. It means that this year there should be a cure. Some were very sure of this.

      Dr. Young's Ten frequently asked questions posting states the same as 4 years ago that some cure be available in some years. Let's face it this will not happen.
      So far all improvement in any therapy resulted mainly due to the nature of the injury,, meaning some non damaged neurons took the job or lost pressure/or less than needed blood flow.

      This area is extremely complex and much much people working on it than on cancer or AIDS cure not to mention in those countries where stupid religion rules, like USA the stupid president decides on religion, no wonder, those mormons, jews and catholics and other "good amercinans" were who elected him.

      if you wait any treatment which has the slightest chance of ever working, you will not find it in the USA for centuries. You have to go to China or Georgia or elsewhere.

      bubo

      Comment


        personally , i think were all fucked. get use to SCI and make the best of it you can.
        oh well

        Comment


          bubo, how is the young child who was quadriplegic?
          Roses are red. Tacos are enjoyable. Don't blame immigrants, because you're unemployable.

          T-11 Flaccid Paraplegic due to TM July 1985 @ age 12

          Comment


            My opinion is that no cure is readily in sight and it will not be until there is awareness and funding. As Dr. Young has indicated this is not just a one part cure. It would need many therapies in conjunction. The plain truth is that in the USA we will always have the political debate on wether it is ethical or non ethical to use Embryonic Stem Cells. All we can do it make the most of what we have today and work for a better tomorrow.

            Comment


              Originally posted by Schmeky
              Dr. Young,

              I did not mean to infer that you are not or would not be receptive to other therapies. I know you are.

              I do, however know that your lab is working on potential therapies to test in the SCINET, and I was curious as to how much functional recovery has been observed on chronic contused animal models to date.
              Schmeky,

              I do think that the contusion model is the most difficult one for regeneration. This may be because contusion (as is the case of most spinal cord injuries in humans) results in the damage of a length of the spinal cord, a "no-man's land" that is often regarded by the spinal cord as a area outside of the spinal cord and therefore is walled off by glial cells with associated chondroitin-6-sulfate proteoglycans. Regeneration across the injury site requires bridging, sustained growth factor support, and also blockade of growth inhibitors. To date, to my knowledge, no laboratory has attempted all three of these therapies simultaneously, i.e. bridge, growth factor support, and growth inhibitor blockers in chronic spinal cord injury. We are trying to do this in the laboratory and, at the same time, preparing for clinical trials that can deliver all three treatments to the spinal cord of people with chronic spinal cord injury.

              Wise

              Comment


                In the case of combined therapies, could they be applied again after a time, to recover even more, or are they a "one shot" tools?

                Thanks for your efforts Dr.Young and happy new year .
                -Ramps in buildings are necessary, but it would be usefull to have another ones for people (mind/heart).....

                -Hoc non pereo habebo fortior me

                Comment


                  Dear Dr. Wise,
                  you started this thread in 2004 with a very positive forecast that 3rd generation therapy would be available to sci patients in approx.8 years, bringing functional improvement also to chronic injuries.
                  Now nearly 4 years have passed....
                  Do you still think such therapies will be available in less than 5 years time?
                  What is your opinion on a possible cure now?
                  Has it changed? For better or worse?
                  I'm a 5 years post injury T12 incomplete para and I worry that more the time passes by since the day of my accident, the less I become a suitable candidate for any possible "cure".
                  Thanks in advance for your response,
                  A.

                  Comment


                    Originally posted by Alexia
                    Dear Dr. Wise,
                    you started this thread in 2004 with a very positive forecast that 3rd generation therapy would be available to sci patients in approx.8 years, bringing functional improvement also to chronic injuries.
                    Now nearly 4 years have passed....
                    Do you still think such therapies will be available in less than 5 years time?
                    What is your opinion on a possible cure now?
                    Has it changed? For better or worse?
                    I'm a 5 years post injury T12 incomplete para and I worry that more the time passes by since the day of my accident, the less I become a suitable candidate for any possible "cure".
                    Thanks in advance for your response,
                    A.
                    well, Phase I clinical trial is complete, so I would say we are on the right track.

                    We are far closer than we were 4 years ago, so I would say things are progressing. To say that SCI is forever, is pretty ignorant if you ask me. To be honest if you are not keeping your eyes open, then yes, you will have no idea what is going on. I plan on being first in line, even if it's 4 years from now.

                    Comment


                      I think we all want someone to tell us that we’re gonna be all right. Kind of a reverse of when we first heard the bad news that our paralysis was for the rest of our lives, myself included. With that preface, I’m a high level quad due to a stroke or an infarction. My doctors know less about the condition than I do. Will treatments depend on the type of injury?
                      Last edited by aton; 12 Jan 2008, 6:26 PM.

                      Comment


                        Originally posted by Alexia
                        Dear Dr. Wise,
                        you started this thread in 2004 with a very positive forecast that 3rd generation therapy would be available to sci patients in approx.8 years, bringing functional improvement also to chronic injuries.
                        Now nearly 4 years have passed....
                        Do you still think such therapies will be available in less than 5 years time?
                        What is your opinion on a possible cure now?
                        Has it changed? For better or worse?
                        I'm a 5 years post injury T12 incomplete para and I worry that more the time passes by since the day of my accident, the less I become a suitable candidate for any possible "cure".
                        Thanks in advance for your response,
                        A.
                        Alexia, I am sorry that I did not see your post earlier... Let me try to answer your question concerning "possible cure". I continue to believe that a cure is not only possible but imminent if we have sufficient resources for the research.

                        Let me try to answer your questions from a personal point of view because it is the one that I know best and it helps illustrates the obstacles that we face to achieve curative therapies of spinal cord injury. For a long time, I thought that the road to the cure was to do science and get scientists to communicate and work together. So, I had started the Journal of Neurotrauma, the Neurotrauma Society, established the first multicenter animal spinal cord injury study, helped found Acorda Therapeutics dedicated to spinal cord injury therapies. From 1994-1997, I lobbied Congress to double the NIH budget.

                        In 1997, I became very frustrated by the slow progress of research and decided to do something about it. I moved from NYU Medical Center where I headed the Neurosurgery Laboratory to build a new center at Rutgers University. In 2000, I hoped that we would embark on a new era of clinical trials and tests of stem cell and combination therapies. These hopes were dashed not only by the 9/11 attack but policies of George W. Bush who not only restricted stem cell research but flat-lined the NIH budget and shunted much of the NIH budget for bioterrorism research.

                        I worked on getting state funding of spinal cord injury research (Quest for Cure), helped encourage and prepare the spinal cord injury community to lobby the goverment, and to protest the restrictive stem cell policy. These activities have yielded several successful state initiatives to fund both spinal cord injury and stem cell research. Starting 2003, I began to work seriously to get clinical trials going.

                        Looking back, I realize that I have spent much of the past decade fundraising and lobbying, to the extent that I should call myself a neuropolitician than a neuroscientist. Until 2004, I had never every campaigned for any politician and now I am doing so for people that believe in our cause and will help us get there. Finally, I organized a clinical trial network in China.

                        Progress has been frustratingly slow and hard but we must keep pushing. The Christopher and Dana Reeve Paralysis Act is an example. It started as any idea in 2003 and is now finally reaching the point where the House of Representatives has passed it and the Senate is considering it. That has been five years of lobbying by many people. If passed, the CDRPA will be the first time that the spinal cord injury community has really done something for itself on the federal level. But, it is the first step, a mere $100 million for clinical trials. We need a billion but it is a good first step.

                        We are now on the verge of a new administration that is likely to remove the restrictions of stem cell research. All three of the democratic candidates for President will significant increase NIH funding. It will be helpful when our own government is no longer obstructing progress towards the cure. But, that doesn't mean that our work is done. It is just starting.

                        In the past eight years, we have made some progress in clinical trials. Many groups have now transplanted a variety of cells into the spinal cord and we know that it is safe and has modest beneficial effects on function. By themselves, they are not a cure. They need to be combined with other treatments that provide sustained growth factor support and block growth inhibitors.

                        I don't know where the first curative therapy will come from but I am confident that it will come. The first therapy is always the hardest. Subsequent therapies will be easier, I hope. Right now, we have a huge logjam of therapies that have been shown to improve animals and few therapies that have been tried out in clinical trial.

                        Wise.
                        Last edited by Wise Young; 11 Jan 2008, 5:04 PM.

                        Comment


                          Hi, Wise,

                          How do you determine the safety of this treatment?

                          I think this is first Problem of any treatment of Stem cells !!!

                          Comment


                            THe safety of this treatment !

                            Hi, Dr.Wise,

                            How do you determine the safety of this treatment?

                            I think this is first Problem of any treatment of Stem cells !!!

                            Comment


                              Originally posted by vnewjay
                              Hi, Dr.Wise,

                              How do you determine the safety of this treatment?

                              I think this is first Problem of any treatment of Stem cells !!!
                              Safety is relatively easy to determine. You do phase 1 trials to establish safety. That is what we are doing. By the way, many groups have now transplanted cells into hundreds of patients. All they have to do is to document adverse events carefully and carry out careful neurological examinations before and after, to make sure that the treatment is not causing any deleterious effects including loss of neurological function.

                              Wise.

                              Comment


                                Dear Dr. Wise,
                                thank you for replying so promptly and in detail.
                                Your response confirms my worries that my future depends on politics and funding, making me feel nearly useless in my search for a cure.
                                I am from Italy and as you can imagine the inflence of the Church is a great obstacle to stem cell research here too.
                                Please keep us posted if and when you will reach any new results, as (I am sure to speak for anybody in my position) good news it's what keeps our hopes up and helps us in our daily life.
                                Thank you,
                                A.

                                Comment

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