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    Stem-cell breakthrough in treatment of spinal cord injuries

    Dr Raisman due to give talks in Galway, Ireland on his work


    Neurology: A leading British neuroscientist believes he will be in a position to treat patients with spinal cord injuries using stem cells later this year, writes Eoin Burke-Kennedy
    Prof Geoffrey Raisman from the Institute of Neurology at University College London will reveal the extent of his research at a stem cell conference in NUI Galway on Thursday.
    Prof Raisman has pioneered a technique which involves transplanting adult stem cells from the lining of the nose into the areas of injury in the spinal cord.
    He told The Irish Times that his research team had carried out tests on rats with injuries to a specific small tract in the spinal cord.

    "We have been able to restore the use of the paw for retrieving food and climbing and the use of the diaphragm - the muscle used for breathing. We are now looking at human cells and we hope to be seeing human patients later this year," he said.

    The traditional scientific view has been that after damage to the brain or spinal cord the body had no ability to regenerate the connections. But Prof Raisman believes that after injury new nerve connections form automatically.

    "The problem is that the nerve fibres which have been cut do not regenerate - the new connections are additional ones formed by existing nerve fibres in the area," he says. "So they do not restore the circuitry, they simply restore the gaps. The idea is to reopen this pathway by reorganising the cells of the scar tissue and letting the nerve finders grow back."

    A circuit is then reconnected, he says, to restore function or relearn, even if it is not correct.
    The aim is to repair spinal cord injury in humans by transplanting stem cells from the nasal lining called olfactory ensheathing cells (OECs) into the areas of injury. These cells are chosen because the nasal lining is the only area of the body where nerve fibres are known to be able to grow throughout adult life.

    Prof Raisman is proposing that the first human trials be carried out on patients with the spinal root injury known as brachial plexis avulsion - where the nerves to the arm are pulled out of the spinal cord - frequently as a result of car accidents.

    But he believes in time the procedure can be applied to more severe spinal cord damage and to other injuries such as stroke, blindness and deafness.

    Prof Raisman is due to speak about his research at a two-day meeting of the Irish Network of Neural Stem-cell Investigators starting on Thursday at NUI, Galway. The network was established in 2004 by patient representatives and scientists in an effort to accelerate the search for treatments for serious degenerative diseases.


    http://www.ireland.com/newspaper/hea...INALCELLS.html

    #2
    Thanx, carbar, for this very hopeful and encouraging post and all your other well researched posts. I admire your dedication to the issues that matter. Keep up the good work. ARTSYGUY
    Step up, stand up for:
    http://www.stepnow.org

    'He not busy being born is busy dying." <Bob Dylan>

    Comment


      #3
      Has Dr. Raisman actally pioneered this surgical technique (OEG transplantation)? Is this the same surgical technique that has been performed overseas or this a different variation thereof?
      No one ever became unsuccessful by helping others out

      Comment


        #4
        I think it is a very similar technique and the same cells that Dr, Lima in Portugal uses.
        Step up, stand up for:
        http://www.stepnow.org

        'He not busy being born is busy dying." <Bob Dylan>

        Comment


          #5
          Olfactory ensheathing glial cells are not stem cells.

          Wise.

          Comment


            #6
            I don't care what kind of cells they use (but thank you Dr Young for clarification) - if it restores the use of my paws.

            You can keep my legs for now, just drop me a couple of levels
            C5/6 incomplete

            "I assume you all have guns and crack....."

            Comment


              #7
              Originally posted by RehabRhino
              I don't care what kind of cells they use (but thank you Dr Young for clarification) - if it restores the use of my paws.

              You can keep my legs for now, just drop me a couple of levels

              I agree

              Comment


                #8
                Anyone know of or in this group?

                (Irish Network of Neural Stem-cell Investigators) starting on Thursday at NUI, Galway. The network was established in 2004 by (patient representatives) and scientists in an effort to accelerate the search for treatments for serious degenerative diseases."

                humans this year, can we hold you to that Prof. R?
                http://justadollarplease.org/

                2010 SCINet Clinical Trial Support Squad Member

                "You kids and your cures, why back when I was injured they gave us a wheelchair and that's the way it was and we liked it!" Grumpy Old Man

                .."i used to be able to goof around so much because i knew Superman had my back. now all i've got is his example -- and that's gonna have to be enough."

                Comment


                  #9
                  Originally posted by RehabRhino
                  I don't care what kind of cells they use (but thank you Dr Young for clarification) - if it restores the use of my paws.

                  You can keep my legs for now, just drop me a couple of levels
                  I'm with you m8 ..... i'm sick of typing with my teeth
                  http://www.radicalmobility.com
                  It's not a wheelchair it's a lifestyle!

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Originally posted by Leo
                    Anyone know of or in this group?

                    (Irish Network of Neural Stem-cell Investigators) starting on Thursday at NUI, Galway. The network was established in 2004 by (patient representatives) and scientists in an effort to accelerate the search for treatments for serious degenerative diseases."

                    humans this year, can we hold you to that Prof. R?
                    I don't know them but contacted them by email, haven't heard back yet. The group is a subdivision of Fighting Blindness, so as that suggests is not specifically SCI. But as their aim is to support stem cell research in their field, I am sure that there are SCI people involved too. I'll post if I find out anything more. The talk I think was part organized too by Remedi, a stem cell research company that has a spinal cord injury project. Am in touch with them too for updates.

                    Comment


                      #11
                      This is from the 2006 report from the Institute of Neurology and
                      National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery:

                      • Spinal Repair Unit. In October 2004, a new research
                      team lead by Professor Geoffrey Raisman FRS, joined
                      the Institute from the MRC NIMR at Mill Hill. The UCL
                      Spinal Repair Unit is carrying out a research programme
                      aimed at developing stem cell transplantation in the rat,
                      for repair of spinal cord injury to the point at which it
                      is ready for taking forward to Phase I clinical trials in
                      patients with spinal cord injury. The research staff in the
                      Unit are working closely with clinical colleagues in the
                      NHNN, especially with the spinal surgeons in the Victor
                      Horsley Department of Neurosurgery.
                      And this is directly about their OEC work:

                      Spinal Repair Unit
                      Director: Professor Geoffrey
                      Raisman, with Dr Daqing Li and Dr
                      Ying Li
                      The work of the Spinal Repair Unit concerns the repair of spinal cord and
                      spinal root injuries by autologous transplantation of adult olfactory
                      ensheathing cells.
                      Up to now brain and spinal cord injuries which sever nerve fibres have resulted in incurable functional loss. An incoming tide of research is now beginning to challenge this as yet unbreached sea wall. The key to this is a recently discovered type of cell, the olfactory
                      ensheathing cell (OEC), which can be obtained from the adult nasal lining.
                      We have studied transplantation of cultured adult OECs in spinal cord
                      and spinal root lesions in experimental animals. OECs transplanted into
                      complete unilateral lesions of the adult rat corticospinal tract at the upper
                      cervical level provided a bridge along which the cut corticospinal axons
                      regenerated, advancing at about 1-2mm per day, re-entered the distal tract, formed terminal arborisations in the appropriate areas of grey matter, and led to resumption of lost functions
                      such as ipsilateral directed forepawretrieval.
                      Effective function was achieved after regeneration of less than 1% of the
                      severed fibres, and when the OECs were transplanted at survival periods of several months after an astrocytic scar had already formed. Transplantation into complete upper cervical spinal hemisections rehabilitated the forepaw of the operated side for climbing, and restored the breathing rhythm to the phrenic nerve of the operated side. Transplants of OECs have a stimulatory effect on severed optic nerve fibres and induce regeneration of severed dorsal
                      root axons into the spinal cord. Since the OECs are derived from an adult stem cell, this raises the possibility that these specialised pathway cells could be generated from adult tissue samples taken from the olfactory
                      system and transplanted into areas of damage in other parts of the central nervous system. In collaboration with
                      Professor Tom Carlstedt, Mr David Choi and Mr Ahmed Ibrahim, we are
                      transplanting cultured adult OECs into a rat model of cervical dorsal rhizotomy with a view to a future clinical trial ofautologous OECs in human brachial plexus avulsion.
                      Prof Rasiman has support from the International Spinal Research Trust who are also funding research into ways of making quantifiable measurements of improvements follwing trial treatments. It is important that if and when trials go ahead that any changes that occur can be attributed to the treatment and not to any other variable. We hear a lot on these threads about someone wh has improved but there is always a response to say "well maybe there were these other factors involved...."

                      Comment


                        #12
                        This is the link for the report mentioned above:

                        http://www.ion.ucl.ac.uk/docs/Report-2006.pdf

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Prof Raisman is proposing that the first human trials be carried out on patients with the spinal root injury known as brachial plexis avulsion - where the nerves to the arm are pulled out of the spinal cord - frequently as a result of car accidents.

                          Sure would be nice to get my brachial plexis fixed for now. I take 1800mg of neurotin a day and my right arm still is in constant pain and falls asleep real easy.
                          Disabled American Veteran
                          USMC
                          1985-

                          Comment


                            #14
                            [QUOTE=John39671]Prof Raisman is proposing that the first human trials be carried out on patients with the spinal root injury known as brachial plexis avulsion - where the nerves to the arm are pulled out of the spinal cord - frequently as a result of car accidents.
                            ---------------------------------------------------------
                            Sure would be nice to get my brachial plexis fixed for now. I take 1800mg of neurotin a day and my right arm still is in constant pain and falls asleep real easy.
                            Disabled American Veteran
                            USMC
                            1985-

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Originally posted by John39671
                              Prof Raisman is proposing that the first human trials be carried out on patients with the spinal root injury known as brachial plexis avulsion - where the nerves to the arm are pulled out of the spinal cord - frequently as a result of car accidents.

                              Sure would be nice to get my brachial plexis fixed for now. I take 1800mg of neurotin a day and my right arm still is in constant pain and falls asleep real easy.
                              I was wondering if I would ever hear of anyone suffering from BPA. It sounds like a heinous injury.
                              No one ever became unsuccessful by helping others out

                              Comment

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