Stem Cells Help Repair Rats' Paralysis

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by fight4acure, Jun 20, 2006.

  1. fight4acure

    fight4acure Member

    http://www.abcnews.go.com/Technology/wireStory?id=2099763

    Stem Cells Help Repair Rats' Paralysis

    By LAURAN NEERGAARD AP Medical Writer

    WASHINGTON Jun 20, 2006 (AP)— Scientists have used stem cells and a soup of nerve-friendly chemicals to not just bridge a damaged spinal cord but actually regrow the circuitry needed to move a muscle, helping partially paralyzed rats walk.

    Years of additional research is needed before such an experiment could be attempted in people.

    But the work marks a tantalizing new step in stem cell research that promises to one day help repair damage from nerve-destroying illnesses such as Lou Gehrig's disease, or from spinal cord injuries.

    "This is an important first step, but it really is a first step, a proof of principle that … you can rewire part of the nervous system," said Dr. Douglas Kerr, a neurologist at Johns Hopkins University who led the work being published Monday in the journal Annals of Neurology.

    Perhaps most importantly, the experiment illustrates that if stem cells eventually live up to their promise, treatment won't be simple they can't just be injected into a diseased body and repair it on their own.

    Instead, the new research details a complex recipe of growth factors and other chemicals that entice the delicate cells to form correctly and make the right connections. Miss a single ingredient, and the cells wander aimlessly, unable to reach the muscle and make it move.

    The study may bring "the appropriate tempering of expectations of stem cells," said Kerr, considered a leader in the field. "Some of my patients say, 'Oh, I'm going to pull into the stem-cell station and get my infusion of stem cells,' and it's never going to be that."

    Stem cells are building blocks that turn into different types of tissue. Embryonic stem cells in particular have made headlines, as scientists attempt to harness them to regenerate damaged organs or other body parts. They're essentially a blank slate, able to turn into any tissue given the right biochemical instructions. But human embryonic stem cell research is politically controversial, because culling the cells destroys embryos.

    The Hopkins experiment isn't the first to use stem cells to help paralyzed rodents move. But previous work bridged damage inside the spinal cord that blocked nerve cells from delivering their "move" messages to muscles, sort of like fixing the circuit that brings electricity to a fan.

  2. 69mach1

    69mach1 New Member

    i hope we can make use of scienctist abilities...

    i know it has been a political one...but i hope for a cure before i turn 45 years old...

    jodie
  3. butterfly8

    butterfly8 New Member



    My girlfriend is having a stem cell transplant because she has amliodosis (S). It is a very challenging proceedure. Having watched what she has had to, and is, going through I do not know if I could do it.
  4. 1975jet

    1975jet New Member

    I seen this on the TV the other day on national news- amazing of course when they start testing in humans- will be another story because of all the controversy. At least it gives hope and who knows if they are testing this you better believe there are other things on that burner...

    Medical Science is advancing so much from 20 years or ago, it just amazes me.

    I also have HOPE and I know they are also working on taking a stem cell from the patient needing an organ transplant and regrowing that organ- kidney, lung and liver
    hopefully here we come.

    Gotta have faith and hope!!!!

    Love all
    Janet
  5. 1975jet

    1975jet New Member

    Yes, let them doctors and scientists rock & roll!!!!!
  6. butterfly8

    butterfly8 New Member

    My girlfriend is Australian. Oncologists are using stem cell transplants for cancer and related conditions. In Qld, there is currently a 1% fatality linked to the treatment.