While any spinal cord injury can drastically diminish a victim’s quality of life, those that involve the cervical nerves can be especially devastating. Some of these victims suffer complete paralysis and need around-the-clock care. Others may retain the use of their arms or hands but still need assistance with basic daily living activities, such as getting dressed or moving from their bed to a motorized wheelchair. Thanks to an ongoing stem cell study, there could be a bit of hope for improvement for these victims – even for those with the severest of all spinal cord injuries.
About the Study
Scientists at Asterias Biotherapeutics have been using low doses of AST-OPC1, an oligodendrocyte progenitor population that is derived from embryonic stem cells, on patients with complete cervical spinal cord injuries. Post-injection, all patients have shown an improvement in their upper-extremity motor scores (UEMS), and they have continued to improve ever since. Some have gained motor function on one side of their body, others have gained function on both sides, and some have improved by two complete motor levels since the study started. Granted, it is still early (12 months post-injection for the first cohort and six months for the second cohort), and the study is ongoing, but the results are promising.
Why the Study is Important
While the stem cell injections may not give victims back everything that was taken from them, it may give them gains and improvements. In fact, research suggests that, if a complete spinal cord injury sufferer improves by two or more motor levels on at least one side of their body, they may one day recover enough to perform at least some of their own daily living activities, such as self-feeding, dressing, or bathing. To someone who can no longer do these things for themselves, this could be critical in improving the overall quality of life. There is also the slight possibility that, by improving quality of life, the longevity could also be increased (which is sometimes reduced by the effects of spinal cord injuries). Of course, only time will tell for certain, and it is likely to be some time before the therapy could become widely available, but it is some noteworthy news.
Spinal Cord Injury Victim? You May Be Due Compensation
If you or someone you love has experienced a spinal cord injury because of the negligent behavior of another, you may be owed compensation for your losses and expenses. Unfortunately, pursuit of this settlement can be a complex and taxing process, especially when you are adjusting to a new way of life. This is where our seasoned Appleton, Wisconsin personal injury lawyers come in. We handle all the details of your case so that you can focus on your day-to-day life. Learn more by scheduling your consultation with Herrling Clark Law Firm, Ltd. today. Call us at 920-739-7366 today.