Embryonic Stem Cells And Spinal Cord Injury


Embryonic Stem Cells And Spinal Cord Injury  

Spinal cord injury leads to the loss of message control processes such as touch, sensation, muscular movement, bladder control and sexual functions. In an event of an injury to the spinal cord, the electrical nerves hinder the movement of messages to and from the brain. Because of this, the substance that coats the nerves gets destroyed leading to cellular damage to the neurons and the electrical short circuit, and thereby obstructing the electrical signal from being received by the brain.

Stem cell has an excellent potential in treating the spinal cord injuries. Scientists have carried out various experiments on animals and suggest few ways of repairing spinal cord damages. Nerve cells that have been destroyed because of injuries to the spinal cord can be replaced with stem cells. These stem cells can also be utilized for production of new matching cells that can re-form the myelin sheath and enhance the re-production and growth of damaged nerves. Stem cells once injected into the spinal cord within a short time after the injury took place can protect the cells at the place of the injury from further damage by discharging protective measures.

On 23 January 2009, the US FDA gave approval to the California based biotechnological company Geron to initiate the trials for the world’s first clinical research of a human embryonic stem cell therapy. This company has planned to begin its first clinical trial in phase I utilizing up to ten patients who have been recently paralyzed due to spinal cord injury. The embryonic stem cell treatment therapy aims to treat the spinal cord injury by injecting the embryonic cells in the site of injury to turn them into becoming healthy nerve cells.

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