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Hope for Spinal Cord Injury Patients

Delaware County Personal Injury Lawyers Discuss Spinal Cord Injuries

There may be hope on the horizon for spinal cord injury patients. Spinal cord injury participants in an ongoing clinical research study are showing additional motor function improvement six and nine months after treatment with AST-OPC1 cells. Patients in the study show improved use of their arms, hands, and fingers. The biotech firm that manufactures the stem cells used in the study will meet with the FDA in mid-2017 to determine how to progress with this therapy.

The spinal cord which is about 18 inches long, extends from the base of the brain to the middle of the back. Bones called vertebrae surround and protect the spinal cord and both are covered by a membrane. The spinal cord transports messages between the body and brain, controlling movement and sensation throughout the body.

Spinal nerve roots project from the spinal cord in pairs. Each spinal nerve tells a part of the body when and how to move while also carrying messages back to the brain. Spinal cord injuries happen when the spinal cord is damaged, blocking communication between the brain and body, and impairing function throughout the body.

The Study

The clinical trial treated six patients with complete cervical cord injuries. Each patient received 10 million AST-OPC1 cells. AST-OPC1 cells are oligodendrocyte progenitor cells made from embryonic stem cells. Oligodendrocyte progenitor cells are found in the human spinal cord and brain, and they support the healthy functioning of both. As the early data suggests, these cells may also help repair damaged or poorly functioning nerves. Six centers across the United States are participating in the study, which is funded by Asterias Biotherapeutics, the company that manufactures the AST-OPC1 cells.

To assess improvements in spinal cord injury patients participating in the study, researchers used the International Standards for Neurological Classification of Spinal Cord Injury (ISNCSCI) scale. All participants showing improved movement in their upper extremities either maintained or increased mobility as of their most recent assessment.

All five patients reaching the six-month mark of the study achieved at least one motor level improvement on at least one side and two patients achieved two level improvements on at least one side – based upon the ISNCSCI. In even more good news – the use of AST-OPC1 cells had no adverse side effects in any of the participants. The stem cell trial is one of the most promising developments in spinal cord injury treatment available. Researchers plan to expand the AST-OPC1 cell study, adding centers and patients throughout the country going forward.

Delaware County Personal Injury Lawyers at McCann Dillon Jaffe & Lamb, LLC Advocate for Accident Victims

If you or a loved one suffered a spinal cord injury because of another’s negligence, you need the assistance of an experienced personal injury lawyer. Spinal cord injuries severely impact one’s quality of life and require extensive medical care. Delaware County personal injury lawyers at McCann Dillon Jaffe & Lamb, LLC can fight for you to win you the compensation you deserve. Call our offices at 215-569-8488 or contact us online. We serve clients throughout Pennsylvania, Delaware and New Jersey.