British Doctors could be on brink of a cure for paralysis

This news could be the biggest of the good news site for many years.

cancer-research

In the UK doctors have maybe made a huge breakthrough in the treatment of paralysis that could give hope to millions around the globe who are confined to wheelchairs.

Here is some video news of the findings…

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OMJLg5K40U0

How some of the news papers and agencies are reporting this around the world…

LONDON, United Kingdom – A parayzed Bulgarian man can walk again after receiving revolutionary treatment in Poland in a breakthrough hailed by one of the British scientists responsible as “more impressive than a man walking on the Moon”.

Darek Fidyka was paralyzed from the chest down following a knife attack in 2010, but can now walk using a frame after receiving treatment in which nerve cells from his nose were transplanted into his severed spinal column, according to research published in the journal Cell Transplantation on Tuesday.

 

“When there’s nothing, you can’t feel almost half of your body. You’re helpless, lost,” the patient, who is now recovering at the Akron Neuro-Rehabilitation Center in Wroclaw, told BBC’s Panorama programme.

“When it begins to come back, you feel you’ve started your life all over again, as if you are reborn. It’s an incredible feeling, difficult to describe,” the 40-year-old said.

Specialist olfactory ensheathing cells (OECs), which form part of the sense of smell, were used in the treatment as they are pathway cells, enabling nearby nerve fibers to be continually regenerated.

The treatment involved two operations.

Pawel Tabakow, consultant neurosurgeon at Wroclaw University, led a team of surgeons in removing one of the patient’s olfactory bulbs before transplanting cultured cells into the spinal cord.

Scientists think that the cells, implanted above and below the injury, enabled damaged fibres to reconnect.

“What we’ve done is establish a principle, nerve fibres can grow back and restore function, provided we give them a bridge,” said Geoff Raisman, chair of neural regeneration at University College London’s Institute of Neurology, who led the British research team working on the joint project.

“To me, this is more impressive than a man walking on the Moon. I believe this is the moment when paralysis can be reversed.”

Tabakow said it was “amazing to see how regeneration of the spinal cord, something that was thought impossible for many years, is becoming a reality”.

‘Door will open in life’

For two years after sustaining the injury, Fidyka showed no sign of recovery despite intensive five-hour physiotherapy sessions.

The first signs of improvement came three months after the surgery, when his left thigh began putting on muscle.

Three months later, Fidyka was able to take his first steps with the aid of parallel bars and leg braces. He can now walk outside using a frame and has also recovered some feeling in his bladder and bowel.

“I think it’s realistic that one day I will become independent,” said the patient.

“What I have learned is that you must never give up but keep fighting, because some door will open in life.”

The research was funded by the UK Stem Cell Foundation and the Nicholls Spinal Injury Foundation (NSIF), set up by chef David Nicholls after his son Daniel was paralysed in a 2003 swimming accident.

NSIF has given £1 million ($1.6 million, 1.26 million euros) to researchers in London and £240,000 to the team in Poland. Both camps say they will not seek to profit from the research.

“It would be my proudest boast if I could say that no patient had had to pay one penny for any of the information we have found,” said Raisman.

NSIF said it would acquire any patents and make them freely available.

“When Dan had his accident I made him a promise that, one day, he would walk again,” Nicholls told the BBC.

“I set up the charity to raise funds purely for research into repairing the spinal cord. The results with Darek show we are making significant progress towards that goal.”

The UK Stem Cell Foundation said the team was now searching for the best source of olfactory ensheathing cells and developing prototype nanofibre biomaterials on which transplanted OECs could grow.

They hope to raise enough money to hold clinical trials on 10 patients in Britain and Poland.

 

More on this story…

The 38-year-old Bulgarian man is believed to be the first person in the world to recover from complete severing of the spinal nerves, with sensation now returned to his lower limbs.
Darek Fidyka, who suffered his injury four years ago, can now walk with a frame and has been able to resume an independent life, even to the extent of driving a car.
Surgeons used nerve-supporting cells from his nose to provide pathways along which the broken tissue was able to grow.
Despite success in the laboratory, it is the first time the procedure has been shown to work in a human patient.

Researchers said the man was “not dancing but absolutely delighted” by the breakthrough.
Professor Geoffrey Raisman, whose team at University College London’s Institute of Neurology discovered the technique, said: “We believe that this procedure is the breakthrough which, as it is further developed, will result in a historic change in the currently hopeless outlook for people disabled by spinal cord injury.”
A Polish team led by one of the world’s top spinal repair experts, Dr Pawel Tabakow, from Wroclaw Medical University, performed the surgery.
The procedure involved transplanting olfactory ensheathing cells (OECs) from the nose to the spinal cord.

OECs assist the repair of damaged nerves that transmit smell messages by opening up pathways for them to the olfactory bulbs in the forebrain.
Re-located to the spinal cord, they appear to enable the ends of severed nerve fibres to grow and join together – something that was previously thought to be impossible.

So could this be the cure for paraylsis?

cure for the first time after a new technique pioneered by British doctors allowed a man with a severed spinal cord to recover the ability to walk.

A revolutionary implant of regenerative cells has knitted back together the spinal cord of a wheelchair-bound firefighter paralysed from the chest down in a knife attack, restoring sensation and muscle control to his legs.

The astonishing breakthrough by an Anglo-Polish medical team is the first ever instance where a complete spinal paralysis has been reversed and represents the potential conquering of one of the greatest challenges in medical science. If validated, it offers hope of a life-changing therapy to the 2.5m people paralysed by spinal injury in Britain and across the world.

The technique, developed by researchers at University College London and put into practice by surgeons in the Polish city of Wroclaw, uses specialist human cells which repair damage to nasal nerves to enable spinal nerve fibres to re-grow and bridge a severed cord.