March 2016 –
Paralyzed man rides a bike after a cell transplant in Poland. Is this a first step towards reversing spinal cord injury? The BBC reports on the latest progress of the spinal cord injury patient Darek Fidyka.
Well, if his so-called “walking” performance reported at the end of 2014 and through 2015 was less than impressive, the video of him riding a tricycle does seem to illustrate some actual functional progress. Let’s remember that this is only one patient, with a very specific type of spinal cord injury (a clean cut of the spinal cord) and quite invasive surgery (retrieving the olfactory bulb from the patient’s skull is anything but simple) plus a heavy physio-therapy regimen (5 hours per day since surgery). We are still far from the cure mentioned in the article. However, it is nice to read that this chronic spinal cord injury patient is making some progress and that two more patients will be enrolled in a clinical trial in Poland to undergo the same procedure.
pinal cord injury research – spinal cord injury therapies – spinal cord injury cure – recovery – stem cells transplant
A man who was paralysed from the chest down after a knife attack in 2010 can now ride an adapted tricycle.
In 2014, surgeons in Poland announced they had reversed Darek Fidyka’s paralysis using cells taken from his nose to repair his spinal cord.
The former fireman says he has noticed a gradual return of feeling and muscle control below his injury.
The surgical team are now launching a search for two more paralysed patients who they will try to help walk again.
Mr Fidyka told me: “I can tell that sensation is coming back and I am getting stronger. A year ago I would not have been able to ride a tricycle. Now I can feel each muscle and each press of the foot on the pedals.”
If we succeed we will have found a cure for paralysis
Spinal cord injury research – spinal cord injury therapies – spinal cord injury cure – recovery – stem cells transplant
The BBC’s Panorama told the remarkable story of Darek Fidyka and the 40-year research programme involving scientists in Britain and Poland.
The medical team are now launching the worldwide search as they are looking for patients with an uncommon type of injury, where the spinal cord has been completely severed, which can happen after a knife injury.
The head of the project, surgeon Dr Pawel Tabakow said: “If we can bridge the gap between two spinal cord stumps then there will be no doubt that our technique works and this will be historic – if we succeed we will have found a cure for paralysis.
“Then we will be able to help other patients with the most common type of injury, caused by a crush or compression.” […]
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