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Stem Cells: May 19, 2007

Adult stem cells and Spinal Cord Injuries

Following a head on collision, Jeni Rummelt was paralyzed from the waste down.  After six years as a paraplegic, therapy with adult stem cells has apparently given her feeling in her lower extremities:

The first step, a trip to Moscow, Russia. For a procedure not available in the u-s - adult stem cell therapy at the Neurovita Clinic.
"The give you shots for four days on the 5th day what those shots have done is make your bone marrow create an abundance of stem cells."
The stem cells are drawn from Rummelt's own blood and separated in a special machine. Then they are injected into her spinal fluid. Three trips and six injections later Rummelt can use her hip-flexers to crawl. A considerable feat, after not being able to move the lower half of her body for years.

"I had no feeling, no sensation, if my leg fell I had no idea at all," said Rummelt. With therapy Rummelt grows stronger everyday she can even stand. And she can actually feel pain in her foot, five years post injury.
Rummelt credits the stem cell injections and her intense physical therapy.

 The potential is quite amazing.  So is this video.

 It's thrilling to see the development of potential therapies for injuries previously thought to be permanent.  However, you have to wonder why this has gotten to little coverage.  Reflections of a Paralytic comments

It is disappointing that this story is not found anywhere else. Any treatment that gives feeling and movement back to a patient with a complete spinal cord injury 5 years later is truly a medical breakthrough. This simply does not happen.

Research and applications involving adult stem cells simply do not get the same attention that is given to mere speculation concerning the potential of embryo destroying stem cell research.  Why?

Posted by tim at May 19, 2007 3:37 AM

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