Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Stem cells and spinal cords

Yesterday, the Grand Rapids Press carried a long story about a teenager named Kadi Dehaan who was partially paralyzed 18 months ago. This week she will graduate from high school and then fly to Russia to receive a stem cell transplant in the hope of helping her paralysis.
NeuroVita, which opened in Moscow in 2002, recently has been drawing blood from paralyzed patients, isolating and growing the blood's stem cells, then injecting the cells into the injured spinal cord.

About 60 percent of the patients who have undergone multiple transfusions have regained at least some feeling or function, according to NeuroVita's Web site.

The story also mentions Jason Feasel, a Michigan man paralyzed in a motorcycle accident, who received a olfactory mucosa transplant via Dr. Carlos Lima in Portugal.

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