Fresh hope has been given to those who have suffered paralysis as a result of a serious spinal injury, following the successful trial of a new therapy.
Six spinal injury patients, each of whom have suffered losses of motor sensory functions were placed on the course of therapy and should the wider tests prove successful, there could be a brighter future ahead for those currently unable to use their lower limbs following a serious injury.
The therapy involves using specifically designed stem cells (called AST-OPC1 cells) to try and encourage motor sensory function recovery.
Carried out by the Rush University Medical Centre in Chicago, the cells are made by taking embryonic stem cells and converting them into oligodendrocyte progenitor cells which are found in the spine and brain. These cells support nerve cells and can stimulate non functioning cells into repairing and working again.
So far, five patients of the patients undergoing the therapy have received their six month check-up and one of the patients has just had their nine month check-up. Early reports have provided researchers with positive signs, pointing towards the recovery of the formerly defunct cells.
Chief Executive Officer of biotechnology manufacturing company, Asterias Biotherapuetics (who are assisting with the cell production), announced the initial reports had been very promising. He said:
“These results to date are quite encouraging, and we look forward to initiating discussions with the FDA in mid-2017 to begin to determine the most appropriate clinical and regulatory path forward for this innovative therapy”
A positive future
All six patients taking the trial therapy have reached the six month mark with improved motor functions and all by at least one level on one side, with some displaying improvements on both sides (and some even displaying an improvement of two levels).
Motor levels are the measurement of the body’s ability to feel as well as move. While improving slowly, one level at a time, is a long process of recovery, it is still far better than having no motor sensory function at all.
This is exciting news for all victims of spinal injury, as it could be the beginning of a march towards repairing damaged cells completely (and with more research, possibly faster).
Recovery cost from accidents
Spinal injuries are often life changing and usually leave the victim needing around the clock, professional care and attention. They victim could be rendered unable to use certain limbs and this can have a direct impact on how they enjoy their life moving forward.
It can also force the victim to change jobs or even leave employment completely depending on the nature of their injury and whether or not they still have the mobility to continue their work.
After suffering a spinal injury (especially in an accident that was somebody’s fault) the cost of recovery, if recovery is even possible and aftercare can be astronomical. Medical costs, physiotherapy and care costs that could all be required after spinal injuries, paired with the potential impact on a person’s working life, could cause a lot of stress financially on the victim and their family.
This is where a legal firm, such as oursels, can play an important role in helping the victim rebuild their lives. If your or your loved one’s spinal injuries have been caused by somebody else’s negligence then it is only right that the guilty party contribute to the costs incurred to the victim because of their recklessness.
Our effort in these situations revolves around the calculation of long term care needs, including financial support as well as physical and psychological support. Every serious injury case is unique and so every case requires a different level of support.
If you feel either yourself, a friend or a family member could benefit from legal assistance to help ensure long term effects are planned for properly, give one of our experts a call on 01695 722 222 or get in touch by using our contact form to let us know about your situation.