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A visit to Dr. Keirstead’s lab.

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  • #16
    We are confirmed for December 13. We'll keep you all updated. Expect our "report" probably the following Monday. Looking forward to sharing our observations with all of you.
    My blog: Living Life at Butt Level

    Ignite Phoenix #9 - Wheelchairs and Wisdom: Living Life at Butt Level

    "I will not die an unlived life. I will not live in fear of falling or catching fire. I choose to inhabit my days, to allow my living to open me, to make me less afraid, more accessible, to loosen my heart until it becomes a wing, a torch, a promise. I choose to risk my significance; to live so that which comes to me as seed goes to the next as blossom and that which comes to me as blossom, goes on as fruit."

    Dawna Markova Author of Open Mind.

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    • #17
      Great Jen, and aside of oligodendrocyte inhibition of axon regrowth it would be an interesting Q to ask, how about the SCI studies on gray matter neuronal death and interneuronal understanding to aid further studies. Tnx upfront.

      Comment


      • #18
        How did I miss this thread??? Way to go Jen - really looking forward to your report. Will there be much expense involved/are you nearby etc?

        Comment


        • #19
          sorry double post
          My blog: Living Life at Butt Level

          Ignite Phoenix #9 - Wheelchairs and Wisdom: Living Life at Butt Level

          "I will not die an unlived life. I will not live in fear of falling or catching fire. I choose to inhabit my days, to allow my living to open me, to make me less afraid, more accessible, to loosen my heart until it becomes a wing, a torch, a promise. I choose to risk my significance; to live so that which comes to me as seed goes to the next as blossom and that which comes to me as blossom, goes on as fruit."

          Dawna Markova Author of Open Mind.

          Comment


          • #20
            Hi Cherry,

            We are really looking forward to the trip. Dr. Keirstead's lab is about 6 hours aways from Phoenix, so Brian and I will each drive over (can't ride together cuz we can't get both our chairs and other stuff in one vehicle) and we'll have 2 night's stay in Irvine.

            I've also learned that we are going at a particularly exciting time. I don't know much more than that right now.
            My blog: Living Life at Butt Level

            Ignite Phoenix #9 - Wheelchairs and Wisdom: Living Life at Butt Level

            "I will not die an unlived life. I will not live in fear of falling or catching fire. I choose to inhabit my days, to allow my living to open me, to make me less afraid, more accessible, to loosen my heart until it becomes a wing, a torch, a promise. I choose to risk my significance; to live so that which comes to me as seed goes to the next as blossom and that which comes to me as blossom, goes on as fruit."

            Dawna Markova Author of Open Mind.

            Comment


            • #21
              Found out on short notice that Hans was speaking in Tucson today so I drove down. Turns out I kinda crashed a private event LOL. Hans spoke for a little over an hour and then took questions. I have 8 pages of notes. At the end I was waiting for an opportunity to thank the host when I was invited to join a small group for lunch where I completely monopolized Hans.

              In that short amount of time, I took in so much information that I think my head may explode! WOW. There is much to write about. First I need to take a step back so that I can give a more measured account of the presentation than I feel can give at this moment.

              His presentation was recorded so I'll try to track down a copy and get permission to post it.

              Today is the happiest I've been since my injury. I had become pessimistic regarding the possibilities of a cure. I'm a believer now.

              If my head is this full after a hour-long presentation in Tucson, I can’t imagine the information overload when we spend a day in his lab.

              More later tonight or in the AM
              My blog: Living Life at Butt Level

              Ignite Phoenix #9 - Wheelchairs and Wisdom: Living Life at Butt Level

              "I will not die an unlived life. I will not live in fear of falling or catching fire. I choose to inhabit my days, to allow my living to open me, to make me less afraid, more accessible, to loosen my heart until it becomes a wing, a torch, a promise. I choose to risk my significance; to live so that which comes to me as seed goes to the next as blossom and that which comes to me as blossom, goes on as fruit."

              Dawna Markova Author of Open Mind.

              Comment


              • #22
                Originally posted by JenJen
                Found out on short notice that Hans was speaking in Tucson today so I drove down. Turns out I kinda crashed a private event LOL. Hans spoke for a little over an hour and then took questions. I have 8 pages of notes. At the end I was waiting for an opportunity to thank the host when I was invited to join a small group for lunch where I completely monopolized Hans.

                In that short amount of time, I took in so much information that I think my head may explode! WOW. There is much to write about. First I need to take a step back so that I can give a more measured account of the presentation than I feel can give at this moment.

                His presentation was recorded so I'll try to track down a copy and get permission to post it.

                Today is the happiest I've been since my injury. I had become pessimistic regarding the possibilities of a cure. I'm a believer now.

                If my head is this full after a hour-long presentation in Tucson, I can’t imagine the information overload when we spend a day in his lab.

                More later tonight or in the AM
                Sounds good.

                Where exactly was the presentation held and who was he speaking
                to?

                Comment


                • #23
                  Jen, that is fantastic news - really glad your hopes have been revitalised through Hans. I'd like to send a contribution to the trip [will paypal you] Hopefully if other members chip in too you won't be out of pocket. Thanks again for your dedication

                  Comment


                  • #24
                    WOW Cherry, you're very quick and quite generous too. Thank you. I was sitting here trying to compose my notes when I got your private note. Following David's example, we will keep strict records of our expenses and donate any remaining directly to Dr. Keirstead.

                    Cherry,
                    Just for accounting purposes, may I send the records to you for verification to this community post-trip?

                    Buck, the presentation was at the UofA (you know it was important for a SunDevil to end up there ) Medical Center. The presentation was hosted by the Foothill Forum, a group of retired business leaders in Tucson. Hans was invited to speak as a friend of a friend and contributions were made. Last year I understand that this same group raised 30K from his talk. I hope they exceeded that this year but I am not privvy to those details. OK, I'm getting ahead of myself here. I'll put it all in an orderly (yeah right) fashion and post it soon.

                    I'm going back to my notes now and trying to prepare a measured report. Right now I am willing to donate a kidney, a lung and participate in devo porn to raise funds. It is actually a disgustingly SMALL amount of money Hans needs. I want to reverify some facts and I may wait until my trip rather than bother him now.

                    Thanks in advance to anyone who feels like contributing to our trip. We will be very conservative with the funds and provide a proper accounting.

                    OK, back to work for me!!
                    My blog: Living Life at Butt Level

                    Ignite Phoenix #9 - Wheelchairs and Wisdom: Living Life at Butt Level

                    "I will not die an unlived life. I will not live in fear of falling or catching fire. I choose to inhabit my days, to allow my living to open me, to make me less afraid, more accessible, to loosen my heart until it becomes a wing, a torch, a promise. I choose to risk my significance; to live so that which comes to me as seed goes to the next as blossom and that which comes to me as blossom, goes on as fruit."

                    Dawna Markova Author of Open Mind.

                    Comment


                    • #25
                      Originally posted by Jen
                      Right now I am willing to donate a kidney, a lung and participate in devo porn to raise funds.
                      uuh, mmm, uhh, send me a video . . . of the devo thing. .

                      I'm sorry, I couldn't help myself. Good going Jen.

                      Comment


                      • #26
                        Hurray, Jen!
                        So glad that you were able to slide on in to the presentation. : ]
                        Isn't the work that Hans is doing with motor neurons for chronics exciting? You will be just as impressed with the entire Reeve-Irvine Research Center and the director, Dr. Oswald Steward.
                        Looking forward to your report and meeting you at the RIRC in December.
                        Karen M
                        C 3/4 inc. central cord
                        10/29/1992 - 18 years, but who counts?

                        Comment


                        • #27
                          Originally posted by JenJen

                          Today is the happiest I've been since my injury. I had become pessimistic regarding the possibilities of a cure. I'm a believer now.
                          WOW
                          "Some people say that, the longer you go the better it gets the more you get used to it, I'm actually finding the opposite is true."

                          -Christopher Reeve on his Paralysis

                          Comment


                          • #28
                            Today I had the opportunity to hear Dr. Keirstead speak at an event in Tucson. All of the hassles of the 350-mile round trip, lack of H/C parking and negotiating a pre-ADA building fell away as soon as I met Hans, Fran and the organizers of this presentation, Sally and Bevan. If any of you read this, thank you again for the multitude of kindnesses today. This has been my happiest day post-injury.

                            My disclaimer: none of what I am writing has been reviewed by Dr. Keirstead. I was absorbing information so fast that there are sure to be some inaccuracies here. Please bear with me. I promise to get clarification and more detailed info when Brian and I visit in 2 weeks.

                            Hans spoke for a little more than an hour and then took questions. He presents in a very casual style and he is able to speak in a language that the layperson can understand. He is very compelling and at times I found myself just listening instead of taking notes. The presentation was recorded and I will try to get a copy and permission to post so you can all see what I did today.

                            Hans explained the 3 phases of SCI and discussed his lab’s work in each phase.

                            Staring with acutes; in the hemisected rat, his drug demonstrated a 68% reduction in tissue loss in the hemisected rat. There is a 6 -12 hour window for treatment. This drug is currently being investigated by Medarex in clinical trials on ulcerative colitis. This was done because the timeline for a trial on UC is much faster than one on SCI. Once approved for UC, it can be used off-label for SCI and MS. Phase II any day now. It will cost $1.5 MM to run the SCI clinical trial. Medarex will donate the drug.

                            Hans next talked a bit about the ethic issues of SCR. He described his lab as being on the forefront of a war zone. He explained where ESC’s come from, that as many as 400,000 are sitting in freezers and that about 10,000 a month are discarded. Once the donors (owners?) of the blastocytes decide to discard the cells then and only then, they can be asked if they want to donate the cells to research, the vast majority would say yes. ESR’s are scalable; with little effort one can create billions of stem cells. Right now it is estimated that each person would receive about 20 million cells in a therapeutic treatment.

                            Stem Cells will work best when
                            The therapeutic target is clearly defined
                            The proper signals are available to support the transplant (growth factor)
                            The host site can support growth

                            Conditions expected to be treated by stem cells in the order predicted to be treated:
                            SCI Heart Disease Diabetes Blood disorders

                            On a longer horizon but still in the works:
                            Alzheimers Parkinsons Stroke Retinal conditions

                            Hans’ lab is able to create exceptionally pure (95% and better) differentiated cells using a 42 day “soup.” To create oligodendrocytes, the cells are bathed in a “brain soup” for the first 15 days then the media is changed for days 16 – 42 to create the oligodendrocytes. This process has been replicated in 4 labs internationally and 2 more will report similar findings soon. This same process is used to create motor neurons. The lab now creates differentiated cells for use by other labs for studies such as heart disease and Parkinsons.

                            So, the sub-acutes need treatment with the oligodendrocytes. This is the work currently being done with Geron using patients with MS.

                            Regarding the pre-clinical paradigm;
                            Keirstead’s findings have already been replicated
                            Safety studies will soon be released
                            Large animal studies are not needed because there is proof of remylination
                            Instrumentation is ongoing. This is where scalability comes in. In real-world application, this work will not be done by a researcher with a pipette. Machines will need to be utilized through the process.

                            With regard to differentiated motor neurons, the lab has grown muscle and it fires! Not only will people with chronic SCI benefit from this treatment, so will people with ALS and SMA. This creates a large enough group (read profitable) for big pharma to be interested.

                            Human trials with differentiated motor neurons will begin and be completed in 2008. The study patients will be infants with SMA. The condition manifests around age 3 months and the mortality rate at 12 months of age is 100%. Because of these babies’ tragically short life span, the phase I trials will be very short. Next will be clinical trials for CHRONIC SCI and ALS. Those trials could begin in early 2009.

                            There is so much more I should say. My mind is still a jumble. I am glad that there will be “an extra set of ears” when we visit Irvine so that we can present a more cohesive picture.

                            Things I also learned today….
                            The lab is incredibly prolific. I wasn’t taking notes here so I’ll wait to give you more when I can be accurate.
                            Hans married this past year. Congratulations.
                            He relaxes by flying a helicopter. I encouraged him to find a lower-risk pass-time like checkers.
                            He spends on average 4 hours a day answering phone calls and emails from people like us, looking for hope. We need to self-regulate and allow our researchers to focus on the work.

                            More, much much more to come following our visit to Irvine. As David said upon his return from CO, things are moving fast and treatments ARE coming!
                            My blog: Living Life at Butt Level

                            Ignite Phoenix #9 - Wheelchairs and Wisdom: Living Life at Butt Level

                            "I will not die an unlived life. I will not live in fear of falling or catching fire. I choose to inhabit my days, to allow my living to open me, to make me less afraid, more accessible, to loosen my heart until it becomes a wing, a torch, a promise. I choose to risk my significance; to live so that which comes to me as seed goes to the next as blossom and that which comes to me as blossom, goes on as fruit."

                            Dawna Markova Author of Open Mind.

                            Comment


                            • #29
                              What exciting news JenJen! Sounds like we have a race on our hands between UCI and UC Denver. .

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                              • #30
                                Next will be clinical trials for CHRONIC SCI and ALS. Those trials could begin in early 2009.
                                Human or in the lab with animals? Utilizing what modalities?

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