Surviving a grisly car accident is always a welcomed luck to anyone involved. However, suffering severe injury to the cervical spine that leaves you paralysed from the neck down is devastating. One such case is Kristopher Boesen (also known as Kris) from Bakersfield.
In March, Kris lost control of his car and crashed into a tree and a lamppost. His doctors were not very hopeful about his prognosis. They informed Kris’ parents that he might be permanently paralysed from the neck down.
Stem Cell Research
Researchers are studying a new Stem Cell Treatment procedure that may have the potential to improve the lives of patients suffering from a traumatic injury to the spinal cord. The procedure which is at its clinical trials Phase 1/2a directly introduces AST-OPC1 cells into the patients’ spinal cord. AST-OPC1 cells are formed from embryonic stem cells which are converted in a lab.
Luckily, Kris qualified for this clinical trial that was undertaken by a team led by Dr Charles Liu from Keck Medical Center of USC. The procedure was completely experimental and did not guarantee any restoration of body function. “Typically, spinal cord injury patients undergo surgery that stabilises the spine but generally does very little to restore motor or sensory function,” Liu explained.
Improvements following Treatment
In April, Kris was injected with a dose of 10 million AST-OPC1 cells directly into his spinal cord. Two weeks later, he was showing signs of improvement. 90 days after the surgery, he was able to feed himself, write his name and operate his wheelchair. He also gained significant improvement in his motor function up to two spinal cord levels, said Dr Liu.
“With this study, we are testing a procedure that may improve neurological function, which could mean the difference between being permanently paralysed and being able to use one’s arms and hands. Restoring that level of function could significantly improve the daily lives of patients with severe spinal injuries.”, Dr Liu explained.
“All I’ve wanted from the beginning was a fighting chance,” said Boesen. “But if there’s a chance for me to walk again, then heck yeah! I want to do anything possible to do that.”
To learn more the positive use of stem cells to help improve the condition of spinal cord injury patients, visit this section of our website.
H/T: Health and Beauty Lifestyle