New Delhi: Stem-cell therapy can play a revolutionary role in the medical treatment of chronic spinal cord injuries, says an article published in 'Clinical and Translational Science' journal.
"Stem cell transplantation is a promising technology that has the potential to replace damaged neurons, re-establish lost axonal connections, and provide neuroprotective factors to allow for healing and recovery after Spinal Cord Injuries," wrote Geeta Shroff, medical director of New Delhi-based Nutech Mediworld, in the article.
According to the study, the evaluation to check the efficacy and safety of hESC (Human Embryonic Stem Cell) therapy was done after testing the therapy in 226 patients with spinal cord injuries.
Spinal cord injury (SCI) is a challenging neurological injury and is associated with permanent disability and decreased life expectancy.
"In our patients with SCI, hESC transplantation was safe and effective and helped improve their clinical condition. hESC therapy may present a significant advance in the treatment and rehabilitation of patients with SCI," said Shroff, a stem cell expert.
She said prospective controlled studies with control groups would give a better clarity on the use of hESC in patients with SCI.
A recent review of epidemiology of SCI in developing countries reported the incidence to be 25.5 million cases per year. In India, approximately 1.5 million people live with SCI and 10,000 new cases add to this group every year.
As part of the study, the data of a single cohort of patients with SCI treated with hESCs conducted during 24 May 2005 to 31 August 2012 at a single site in New Delhi, India, were collected retrospectively.
An independent ethics committee approved the study protocol.