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First Paralyzed Human Treated With Stem Cells Has Regained His Upper Body Movement

First Paralyzed Human Treated With Stem Cells Has Regained His Upper Body Movement
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Picture losing control of your car and after that waking up in the hospital paralyzed from the neck down. Well, this is the story of Kristopher Boesen, who had a life-changing moment when his car lost control on a slippy road surface, then slamming into a tree and lamp post. Doctors informed Kris’s parents that he may never be capable of function from the neck down ever again.

The Procedure

First Paralyzed Human Treated With Stem Cells Has Regained His Upper Body Movement

First Paralyzed Human Treated With Stem Cells Has Regained His Upper Body Movement

Kris was given the opportunity undergo a potentially life-changing procedure concerning stem cells, which ‘have the ability to fix injured nervous tissue throughout replacement of damaged cells‘. This experimental process didn’t guarantee any restoration to Kris’s paralysis, but for him, the risk was worth taking.

The procedure began in April where Dr. Liu injected 10 million AST-OPC1 cells straight into Kris’ cervical spinal cord. (AST-OPC1 cells come from donated eggs that are fertilized in vitro (ie. in a petri dish). For more information on where stem cells come from, check out this resource.)  Dr. Liu clarifies that; “Normally, spinal cord injury patients have surgery that stabilizes the spine but does almost nothing to restore motor or sensory function. With this research, we are testing a procedure that may advance neurological function, which could mean the difference between being permanently paralyzed and being capable to use one’s arms and hands. Restoring this level of function might considerably improve the daily lives of patients with harsh spinal injuries.

First Paralyzed Human Treated With Stem Cells Has Regained His Upper Body Movement

First Paralyzed Human Treated With Stem Cells Has Regained His Upper Body Movement

The Results

After just 3 weeks of therapy, Kris began showing signs of enhancement, and within just 2 months he was able to answer the phone, write his name and maneuver a wheelchair.  He had regained considerable improvement in his motor functions; which are the transmissions of messages from the brain to muscle groups to create movement.

Kris recovered 2 spinal cord levels which made an enormous difference in his movement abilities. It was the diversity of minimal movement or none at all and being capable to function on his own. Kris regained this extremely important feature of independence.

After seeing the results of the stem cell therapy, Kris over the clouds happy, saying; “All I’ve wanted from the beginning was a chance to fight… But if there’s a chance for me to walk again, then heck yeah! I want to do everything possible to do that.”

The Future

Even though doctors aren’t capable to make any promises that Kris’s circumstance will further recover, they can keep experimenting with stem cell research to try and advance the likelihood of it working completely on paralysis.

First Paralyzed Human Treated With Stem Cells Has Regained His Upper Body Movement

First Paralyzed Human Treated With Stem Cells Has Regained His Upper Body Movement

By now, they have made an enormous steps forward and will optimistically continue to do so in their mission to solve paralysis, by teaming up with ‘associate faculty based in departments across KSOM and the University to study stem cell-driven new medicine‘, Dr. Liu and his team at USC are strong-minded to keep researching stem cells and so much more!

Stem cell research is continuing and can be used in numerous ways other than paralysis; from Parkinson’s and diabetes to cancer. To discover the latest news regarding stem cell research check this website out.

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