March 11, 2016Filed Under: Neck and Back Injuries

Stem cell treatment for spinal injury gets another look

Stem cell treatment for spinal injury gets another look

The quest to find an effective treatment for spinal cord injuries is important to many people. The reason for this is clear. Spinal cord injuries leave many who suffer from them living a life that is dramatically altered. Depending on the specifics surrounding the injury a person could be left unable to move anything below their neck.

An experimental treatment that was previously involved in a study, several years ago, is getting another look. The treatment involves the injection of stem cell into the site of the injury. Revisiting the treatment may in part be due to the fact that the last time around researchers demonstrated it was safe.

Doctor with hair net and surgical mask working on some stem cell research.
Photo by Phalinn Ooi via CC BY 2.0

The idea behind the study was to repair damaged nerves. These repairs are accomplished by the re-coating of the nerve fibers that are damaged. While the cells need to be injected fairly shortly after the initial injury (between 14 and 30 days of it occurring) it can take months, and even up to a year for results to be seen.

This next phase of the study will focus on transplanting the cells in the cervical spine which is responsible for controlling the function of a person’s hand and arms. The neurosurgeon behind the study indicated that making it possible for victims of a spinal injury to use their hands is life changing.

It is possible that people throughout Canada who are suffering from spinal injuries as a result of a variety of incidents could benefit from the research that is currently being conducted.

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