Stem Cell Research
Stem cells for spinal cord injuries
Spinal cord injuries are described at various levels of "incomplete", which can vary from having no effect on the patient to a "complete" injury which means a total loss of function.
After a spinal cord injury, many of the nerve fibers at the injury site lose their insulating layer of myelin. As a result, the fibers are no longer able to properly transmit signals between the brain and the spinal cord contributing to paralysis. Unfortunately, the spinal cord lacks the ability to restore these lost myelin-forming cells after trauma.
Transplantation of stem cells in the spinal cord involves direct implantation and cell placement to foster cell development. The delivery of stem cells at the site of injury maximizes their regenerative potential.
When the spinal cord is damaged—either accidentally (car accidents, falls) or as the result of a disease (multiple sclerosis, infections, tumors, severe forms of spinal bifida, etc.)—it can result in the loss of sensation and mobility and even in complete paralysis.