Posted by: Stephen | 2009/09/23

Spinal Cord Injury

Stem Cells have been touted as a cure for everything from Cancer to SCI. I am a paraplegic and have been since 1986. Have any real SCI breakthroughs been achieved? Would stem cells benefit older SCI injuries or only be beneficial for new injuries?

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageStem Cell Guest Expert

As you indicate, stem cell therapy has been touted for many conditions, including spinal cord injury. This information is misleading, and is often used as a marketing ploy to lure people such as yourself into unproven and expensive therapies that have no scientifically-proven benefit. The answer to your question is that although pre-clinical and early clinical data suggests that stem cells may be of benefit in time to come, currently there is no form of stem cell therapy that can be recommended for your condition. A private company in the United States recently obtained FDA approval for a clinical trial in SCI patients using embryonic stem cells. This is the only clinical trial of its kind in the world today. However, this trial was recently put on hold because of uncertainty over the possible side effects that could result.

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