When I began these wide-ranging articles on various disabilities, my overriding goal has been one in which I've always tried to end each article with a "positive" something. It could be,
for example, a treatment, medication, surgery, or whatever, all of which could make any given disability easier to cope with, overcome, and live with, etc. by that person living with a disability.
Imagine, then, my excitement at the actual and achievable recoveries that have been realized in such previously judged as not-recoverable disabilities as cerebral palsy, traumatic brain injuries (TBI), spinal cord injuries (SCI), and strokes, for example, with many of those recoveries being made possible with the use of adult stem cells.
More specifically, an increasing number of researchers working with adult stem cells now seem to agree that such therapies could quickly and significantly improve the recovery of motor function in animal models for the ischemic brain injury, for example, that occurs in about
10 percent of babies with cerebral palsy.
Atheisms Inc., a Cleveland-based biopharmaceutical company pursuing cell therapy programs in cardiovascular disease, stroke, cancer, and other diseases, has recently been funding research in which more than 200,000 adult stem cells provided by Athersys were injected directly into the brain injury sites of test animals of the many researchers they have been funding. According to Athersys, those adult stem cells were taken from the bone marrow of rats for dosing in their
now-disabled laboratory rats. This info was reviewed from Athersys' Web site as of 11/23.
Their researchers' lab reports indicate that exactly one week after a brain injury was introduced into each of the tests' lab rats; adult stem cells were injected directly into the brains of each of the 22 test animals.
Behavioral tests on each now-disabled lab rat were then administered seven days after the transplants, all of which showed a trend toward recovery, followed by significant recovery, by day 14.
As research projects using adult stem cells increases, the release of public information in an announcement during the week of October 10 discussed the one of the first time ever introductions of adult stem cells at the site of a long-time spinal cord injured (SCI) patient at
the Shepherd Institute in Georgia. That announcement also noted that this stem cell therapy was the first ever use of stem cells at the site of a long time and older SCI patient with the hoped-for purpose of reversing that patient's paralysis.
Although we were unable to locate, to date, any reports on the initial, or otherwise, findings about the Shepherd Institute's project, we were able to stumble across (thanks to the Internet) a number of other, similar SCI research projects using adult stem cells in three other research ranged from 27 to 61 with all providing a broad range of success rates depending on the severity and length of time of the accident that caused the SCI, while the German group used SCI research patients who were younger and less severely injured than the American
Long story short, the German hospital SCI patients saw about an 88 percent recovery of function, while the other American research hospitals saw success records of 71 percent in the one hospital and 63 percent in the second one. These incredible findings were all based on the fact that significant levels of actual recovery in the various SCI research patients were most definitely raised with the use of adult stem cells at all three hospitals where these tests were performed.
Accordingly, from what I am aware of now, several researchers, hospitals, and drug companies will, or are gearing up to, begin to use adult stem cells much more substantially in their research to find SCI cures, as well as cures for TBI and even CP, to name just a few of the CNS-related disabilities, thus far, that are now showing real signs that the use of adult stem cells can really be a great solution to finally finding a way to cure these disabilities. Things, quite happily, may really be looking up for a change.
Paul Rendine is chairman of the Disability Advocates of Delmarva Inc. group. He can be contacted at his e-mail address at email@example.com with any comments or questions.