Stem Cell Research Renews Hope for Treating Spinal Cord Injuries


Recent sporting injuries like the spinal cord injury of a football player from Rutgers University this month are shedding light on developments in treating these devastating injuries. According to an October 18, 2010 article in the LA Times newspaper, new uses for embryonic stems cells are giving hope to victims of spinal cord injuries.

The article outlines the story of an Atlanta-based patient who was the first to be treated this month with therapy that utilized human embryonic stem cells. Research clinicians were testing the safety of specialized nerve cells that they hoped would repair damaged spinal cords. The results remain to be seen in the human patients of the study, but rats that were treated using the same methods showed marked improvement in the ability to walk and even run with a limp.

The hope of researchers is that patients who are treated with this new stem cell process will be able to not only regain mobility, but that they will also be able to regain the use of their bladders, legs and arms where applicable. There is no cure for spinal cord injury paralysis, but this new method could enhance the use of limbs and joints that were previously limited.

Every year, an estimated 262,000 people in the U.S. deal with some level of paralysis from a spinal cord injury. Many of those people suffered their injuries in car accidents or slip and falls. If you have been paralyzed in an accident, contact a West Virginia lawyer right away to determine your rights under the law.