Paralysis continues to be a source of difficulty for sufferers of back and spine injuries. Over the years, physical therapies have come a long way. Many victims of paralysis can recover some feeling or movement through these therapies and new medications. But just as often, victims have injuries that do not heal.
Still, researchers continue to press onward. Every day, new medical discoveries shine light and hope on a future where paralysis is treatable.
Hitting the recovery plateau
Mayo Clinic discusses research that may help in spinal cord injury cases. In specific, they discuss results published in November of 2019 that focus on the use of stem cells in rehabilitation for paralysis.
The patient in the trial suffered from a spinal cord injury in a surfing accident. This injury left the 53 year old victim paralyzed below the neck. The doctors administered standard therapy first, which often includes types of physical therapy. The patient showed immediate improvement. But after 6 months, the improvement plateaued.
The introduction of stem cell therapy
Nine months after the accident, researchers enrolled the patient in a stem cell research study. Eleven months after the accident, the patient received stem cell injections. The patient then experienced marked improvement in sensory and motor function. Doctors state that this patient was a superresponder, though. In other words, not everyone who receives stem cell therapy could respond as quickly or see as much improvement.
This trial sought to establish several things. Among them include the dosage needed in stem cell therapy. Other matters under scrutiny include the safety and feasibility of stem cell therapy. With continued research, more progress can push new therapy possibilities forward.