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    God damn FriendlySprite, way to break it down!

    Comment


      Originally posted by FriendlySprite View Post
      Dear Schmeky,

      At 23:21 he showed a slide indicating that when adult sensory neurons were transplanted onto adult spinal cord myelin, growth was very poor, but when Decorin was added, axon growth increased nearly five-fold within hours.

      At 23:47 he showed a slide indicating that when adult sensory neurons were transplanted onto inhibitory scar CSPGs, growth was again very poor, but when Decorin was added, axon growth increased nearly 15-fold within hours. To quote Davies:

      FriendlySprite

      Excellent job FriendlySprite, when i heard the 23:47 & 23:47 parts i got excited but bieng a layman i tempered my excitement and kept it to my self but to see such growth in "HOURS".

      we have reason for hope and its closer than allot of us realize. yes, yes, yes
      "I'm manic as hell-
      But I'm goin' strong-
      Left my meds on the sink again-
      My head will be racing by lunchtime"

      <----Scott Weiland---->

      Comment


        Originally posted by Schmeky View Post
        Didn't hear anything about clinical trials. I first visited Davies lab when he was in Houston Texas 6 years ago. He was saying the same then he is saying now.

        Visited his lab in Colorado nearly 4 years ago, if you'll read my report on what he told me, nothing he indicated has transpired. Nothing.

        Hopefully this will change with his paper that he indicated that should be peer reviewed in the last quarter of 2010, but as of the closing of February 2011, has not occurred.

        This isn't my opinion, this is fact.
        Schmeky,
        Cool off man. If you know some Latin, astrocytes means astro which can be stars in our planetary deeper space, to keep things together, gravity or likewise, cytes of course means cells, meaning in the cord; supporting cells. Similar; the Geron study focuses on oligodendrocytes, where oligo could mean a few, and dendro could mean a tree (branches), like for example a rododendro three we all have where rodo translated is a rose and dendro a tree, a rose bush with other words. In the spinal cord of course in Latin, or in plain English - oligodendrocytes - will translate to some (oligo) dendro (bush or three) and cytes (cells) whom might want to by the nature, to wrap around axon fibers.
         

        Comment


          At W2W in Phoenix USA Stephen Davies clearly explained the different astrocytes his team are working on and other interest of sci. Why basic research for such or why such isn’t by now entering a trial setting, shouldn’t come as a surprise.

          Read above David.

          Comment


            Originally posted by FriendlySprite View Post
            Dear Schmeky,



            Did you watch the the video from W2W 2010 all the way to the end?

            In the last 3-4 minutes, Dr. Davies discussed his more recent discoveries concerning Decorin, particularly as they potentially benefit chronics.

            At 22:14, he said that when Decorin alone was infused into the injured spinal cord, they found a 17-fold increase in plasmin, an enzyme which breaks down scar tissue.

            At 22:27, he discussed "What can decorin do to promote axon regeneration in the chronically injured spinal cord?"

            He said they found that Decorin not only increases enzymes (such as plasmin) that break down established scar tissue, but that it can "de-sensitize neurons to scar CSPGs and mylein inhibitors."

            At 23:21 he showed a slide indicating that when adult sensory neurons were transplanted onto adult spinal cord myelin, growth was very poor, but when Decorin was added, axon growth increased nearly five-fold within hours.

            At 23:47 he showed a slide indicating that when adult sensory neurons were transplanted onto inhibitory scar CSPGs, growth was again very poor, but when Decorin was added, axon growth increased nearly 15-fold within hours. To quote Davies:

            "Decorin can directly boost the ability of neurons to grow axons on inhibitory molecules found throughout the chronically injured spinal cord."


            The last three lines from his final slide, concerning his "Ongoing studies":

            Testing human decorin & hGDAsBMP in chronic contusion SCI models

            Combinations of GDAs, Decorin and rehab

            Development of GDAsBMP for future human trials


            He said they were actively working to determine what the most effective combinations are for both acute and chronic human SCI.

            The "Research Projects" section of his faculty page also concludes with:

            "At present we are now developing stem cell based technologies to generate the human form of the GDAsBMP cells with a view to moving use of these cells to human clinical trials as soon as possible."





            While discussing the two penultimate lines in his last slide, "Testing human decorin & hGDAsBMP in chronic contusion SCI models" and "Combinations of GDAs, Decorin and rehab," Davies said that it had always been his plan to bring these two lines of his research together, and that that had now happened.



            No author can affect, much less control the speed of peer reviewers of his paper and you have no way of knowing whether it in fact happened or not in 2010 -- the reviewers may have responded in the time frame he'd given you with comments requesting further data or other clarifications (it happens all the time with peer reviewed papers) and Davies may be responding to such comments even as I'm typing this, if he hasn't already. You need to understand that peer review can be an extended process and that publication isn't necessarily automatic once it's been completed.

            I'm sure Dr. Davies is extremely anxious to see this paper published and doing everything he possibly can, although that's very little, once it's been submitted for review.

            I have a friend from college who's a medical researcher like Davies (though not in SCI) and another who's married to one. These folks generally work 60-80 hours per week, 50 weeks or more a year -- most are consumed by their work, often to the exclusion or at least significant detriment of their personal lives.

            Someone who's never seen that kind of relentless work schedule up close and over an extended period of time (and a brief visit to a lab simply can't provide any true picture of just how long the hours are that such researchers usually put in, usually for years) would probably have difficulty appreciating the full extent to which these folks so often devote themselves to their work, so I say, "Thank you, Dr. Davies, and thank you, too, Dr. Young, for everything you sacrifice personally for this community in the search for a cure."

            I recall, too, that when Kate was blogging from W2W 2010 in November, she reported that Dr. Davies explained he couldn't say anything about his "big breakthrough" because he had signed a "non-disclosure agreement," which suggests to me that he's found a corporate partner to help fund clinical trials. Journals don't normally require prospective authors to sign such agreements (they just cancel publication if the author blabs publicly, as I understand).

            Consequently, it sounds to me, reading between the lines, that Dr. Davies is busy designing human clinical trials while awaiting publication, but the design process is far from instantaneous, too, as I understand it. If anyone has $650 to spend, they can attend a conference being held next month to educate clinical investigators in the complexities of FDA requirements: http://www.socra.org/html/FDA_Conference.htm


            FriendlySprite
            I was there. At the podium discussions too with others. But as I recalled it Davies said, as for astrocyte studies, much work is still required before entering a trial setting. As for Decorin, he and others said, if confident, do trials, its up to any. That was what I heard, and I am a good listener, too.

            Comment


              Been hearing and reading Davies dog and pony show since 2005.

              I want someone to tell me why Davies paper, published April, 2006, entitled, "Astrocytes derived from glial-restricted precursors promote spinal repair", is not in clincal trials?

              That's because no one can. This paper indicates a cure for acute injuries.

              Thanks for the advice Leif, but I already know how to read.

              But as I recalled it Davies said, as for astrocyte studies, much work is still required before entering a trial setting
              It's safe in the lab.

              FriendlySprite,

              This ain't my first rodeo. But I like your post, very well written and very concise.
              Last edited by Schmeky; 16 Feb 2011, 11:47 PM.

              Comment


                Originally posted by Schmeky View Post
                - Thanks for the advice Leif, but I already know how to read. -
                Hey buddy, -it isn’t me whom are donating money from my pocket to basic research? I’ve always - included on this forum - been against such private donations, read up! - to give/get money from sci individuals is an American thing. And I am 100 % against such, cause I believe young sci injured individuals should use their money on; good education for hopefully good jobs. -Serious money should be collected/gained from other sources. And if such private donations was not done in North America, we most likely wouldn’t have debates like this, especially not by grownups. Get real.

                Comment


                  Dear Han Solo and ineedmyelin,

                  Thank you both.

                  ineedmyelin, I am also just a layman, not a scientist, although I've had experience with the peer review publishing process, which is why I'm aware of some of its nuances.

                  Best,

                  FriendlySprite

                  Comment


                    Dear Leif,

                    Originally posted by Leif View Post
                    I was there. At the podium discussions too with others. But as I recalled it Davies said, as for astrocyte studies, much work is still required before entering a trial setting.
                    I agree, and I think that's exactly what Dr. Davies meant by the three items he'd described in his last slide under "Ongoing studies," as well as the last line from his faculty page, "At present we are now developing stem cell based technologies to generate the human form of the GDAsBMP cells with a view to moving use of these cells to human clinical trials as soon as possible."

                    I think all of those statements are completely consistent with what you heard. Designing stem cell clinical trials is a very complex process, as I understand, not something "instantaneous," as I'd cautioned, above.



                    Originally posted by Leif View Post
                    As for Decorin, he and others said, if confident, do trials, its up to any. That was what I heard, and I am a good listener, too.
                    No doubt, and I recall Kate mentioning during her liveblogging that Dr. Davies was instead "focused on the very first quality, top of the line treatment for sci," so we are in agreement on this point, too.


                    Best,

                    FriendlySprite

                    Comment


                      Dear Schmecky,

                      Originally posted by Schmeky View Post
                      I want someone to tell me why Davies paper, published April, 2006, entitled, "Astrocytes derived from glial-restricted precursors promote spinal repair", is not in clincal trials?

                      That's because no one can.
                      I'll give it a shot!


                      Originally posted by Schmeky View Post
                      This paper indicates a cure for acute injuries.
                      I don't believe it does, at all, unless, perhaps, you're a rat! (And even then it would be risky!) In any case, the FDA was hardly ready to permit any human stem cell trials in 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009 or most of 2010.

                      In December 2007 the FDA and NIST were just holding a workshop for potential clinical investigators on "In Vitro Analyses of Cell/Scaffold Products" and the following April, the FDA's Cellular, Tissue and Gene Therapies Advisory Committee was still trying to develop official guidance for stem cell clinical trials: http://www.fda.gov/ohrms/dockets/ac/...-00-index.html

                      In the meantime, Dr. Davies and his team had figured out that not just any old GDAs are helpful -- that GDAsCNTFs, in fact, would be disastrous, as explained in his 2008 paper, "Transplanted astrocytes derived from BMP- or CNTF-treated glial-restricted precursors have opposite effects on recovery and allodynia after spinal cord injury."

                      And remember, even then, both those papers deal with rat spinal cords and rat GDAs.

                      Rats may be good good models for humans, but human they are not!

                      The next preclinical step required prior to a clinical stem cell trial -- as highlighted in one of the April 2008 presentations at the meeting of the FDA's Cellular, Tissue and Gene Therapies Advisory Committee -- is the "Preclinical Evaluation of Human Stem Cells for Safety and Function."

                      And that's the first of the three "Ongoing studies" Davies listed in his last slide at the 2010 Working2Walk.

                      It seems to me that he's simply been following the FDA's prescribed procedures, as he must.


                      Originally posted by Schmeky View Post
                      FriendlySprite,

                      This ain't my first rodeo. But I like your post, very well written and very concise.
                      Thank you for the compliment; I'm glad you liked my earlier post. :-)

                      Best,

                      FriendlySprite

                      Comment


                        Originally posted by schmeky
                        I want someone to tell me why Davies paper, published April, 2006, entitled, "Astrocytes derived from glial-restricted precursors promote spinal repair", is not in clincal trials?
                        Because no one can.

                        ________________________________________

                        Sprite,

                        I am well versed on FDA protocol.

                        Comment


                          Thank you FriendlySprite for trying to bring rational, positive thoughts, as well as supporting statements from Davies, to the discussion.

                          All I know is there are many talented, hard-working researchers trying to get our butts out of these chairs -- and I'm quite appreciative of their efforts. Personally, I believe Davies is the closest to doing so, but others are making significant progress too.

                          From what I've read, I decided last year to stop saying the research efforts should result in legitimate, function-restoring therapies in "five to 10 more years" and now I believe it's realistic to say such therapies should be helping us between 2015 and 2020, which is 4 to 9 years -- and shrinking by the day.

                          It helps my peace-of-mind to believe that we are getting closer daily, and to essentially place a limit at 2020 (i.e. 9 more years) tops.

                          That said -- what about now? And how do we LIVE from now until such therapies do restore function (and 2020 isn't guaranteed, though I believe it's realistic)?

                          My approach has been to get and stay as busy as possible, so that the time will "fly" as quickly as possible. That, and to also enjoy whatever can still be enjoyed, regarding life with an SCI, and though I'm a C1-2 and a vent user, I believe life can still be enjoyed, albeit often from a different perspective than when we were able-bodied.

                          Just my two cents.

                          Carry on -- and God bless all!

                          Bill Miller
                          Wheelchair users -- even high-level quads... WANNA BOWL?

                          I'm a C1-2 with a legit 255 high bowling game.

                          Comment


                            Stephen Davies research has been published!

                            From the University of Denver Newsroom

                            http://www.ucdenver.edu/about/newsro...rsfocuson.aspx

                            Researchers focus on human cells for spinal cord injury repair
                            Dervived from stem cells – restore movement in animal models
                            3/2/2011
                            Stephen Davies

                            AURORA, Colo. - For the first time, scientists discovered that a specific type of human cell, generated from stem cells and transplanted into spinal cord injured rats, provides tremendous benefit, not only repairing damage to the nervous system but helping the animals regain locomotor function as well.

                            The study, published today in the journal PLoS ONE, focuses on human astrocytes – the major support cells in the central nervous system – and indicates that transplantation of these cells represents a potential new avenue for the treatment of spinal cord injuries and other central nervous system disorders.

                            Working together, research teams at the University of Colorado School of Medicine and University of Rochester Medical Center have made a major breakthrough in the use of human astrocytes for repairing injured spinal cords in rats.

                            “We’ve shown in previous research that the right types of rat astrocytes are beneficial, but this study brings it up to the human level, which is a huge step,” said Chris Proschel, PhD, lead study author and assistant professor of Genetics at the University of Rochester Medical Center. “What’s really striking is the robustness of the effect. Scientists have claimed repair of spinal cord injuries in rats before, but the benefits have been variable and rarely as strong as what we’ve seen with our transplants.”

                            There is one caveat to the finding – not just any old astrocyte will do. Using stem cells known as human fetal glial precursor cells, researchers generated two types of astrocytes by switching on or off different signals in the cells. Once implanted in the animals, they discovered that one type of human astrocyte promoted significant recovery following spinal cord injury, while another did not.

                            “Our study is unique in showing that different types of human astrocytes, derived from the exact same population of human precursor cells, have completely different effects when it comes to repairing the injured spinal cord,” noted Stephen Davies, PhD, first author and associate professor in the Department of Neurosurgery at the CU School of Medicine. “Clearly, not all human astrocytes are equal when it comes to promoting repair of the injured central nervous system.”

                            The research teams from New York and Colorado also found that transplanting the original stem cells directly into spinal cord injured rats did not aid recovery. Researchers believe this approach – transplanting undifferentiated stem cells into the damaged area and hoping the injury will cause the stem cells to turn into the most useful cell types – is probably not the best strategy for injury repair.

                            According to Mark Noble, director of the University of Rochester Stem Cell and Regenerative Medicine Institute, “This study is a critical step toward the development of improved therapies for spinal cord injury, both in providing very effective human astrocytes and in demonstrating that it is essential to first create the most beneficial cell type in tissue culture before transplantation. It is clear that we can not rely on the injured tissue to induce the most useful differentiation of these precursor cells.”

                            To create the different types of astrocytes used in the experiment, researchers isolated human glial precursor cells, first identified by Margot Mayer-Proschel, PhD, associate professor of Genetics at the University of Rochester Medical Center, and exposed these precursor cells to two different signaling molecules used to instruct different astrocytic cell fate – BMP (bone morphogenetic protein) or CNTF (ciliary neurotrophic factor) .

                            Transplantation of the BMP human astrocytes provided extensive benefit, including up to a 70 percent increase in protection of injured spinal cord neurons, support for nerve fiber growth and recovery of locomotor function, as measured by a rat’s ability to cross a ladder-like track.

                            In contrast, transplantation of the CNTF astrocytes, or of the stem cells themselves, failed to provide these benefits. Researchers are investigating why BMP astrocytes performed so much better than CNTF astrocytes, but believe multiple complex cellular mechanisms are probably involved.

                            “It is estimated that astrocytes make up the vast majority of all cell types in the human brain and spinal cord, and provide multiple different types of support to neurons and other cells of the central nervous system,” said Jeannette Davies, PhD, assistant professor in the neurosurgery department at the CU medical school and co-lead author of the study. “These multiple functions are likely to all be contributing to the ability of the right human astrocytes to repair the injured spinal cord.”

                            With these results, the Proschel and Davies teams are moving forward on the necessary next steps before they can implement the approach in humans, including testing the transplanted human astrocytes in different injury models that resemble severe, complex human spinal cord injuries at early and late stages after injury.

                            “Studies like this one bring increasing hope for our patients with spinal cord injuries,” said Jason Huang, MD, associate professor of neurosurgery at the University of Rochester Medical Center and chief of neurosurgery at Highland Hospital. “Treating spinal cord injuries will require a multi-disciplinary approach, but this study is a promising one showing the importance of modifying human astrocytes prior to transplantation and has significant clinical implications.”

                            In addition to Proschel and Noble, Davies and Davies, Mayer-Proschel and Chung-Hsuan Shih from the University of Rochester Medical Center contributed to the research. Portions of this research were funded by the New York State Spinal Cord Injury Research Program, the Carlson Stem Cell Fund and private donations by the international spinal cord injury community.

                            # # #

                            Contact: Dan Meyers, 303-724-5377, dan.meyers@ucdenver.edu
                            "Our lives begin to end the day
                            we become silent about things that matter."
                            - Martin Luther King Jr

                            Comment


                              Thanks Donna! Way to keep watch for us!

                              http://www.cufund.org/giving-opportu...ption/?id=3485 to contribute to Dr. Stephen Davies research lab.


                              Home page:

                              http://www.cuneurosurgery.com/research-davies.htm
                              Last edited by GRAMMY; 2 Mar 2011, 11:07 PM.
                              http://spinalcordresearchandadvocacy.wordpress.com/

                              Comment


                                Thanks Chris! I'm just trying to keep up with you. : )

                                For those of you who would like to see his video from W2W, here is the link.
                                "Our lives begin to end the day
                                we become silent about things that matter."
                                - Martin Luther King Jr

                                Comment

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