New stem cell therapy succeeds
By Park Si-soo
A Korean medical team said Wednesday that it had succeeded in greatly improving the condition of three paralyzed patients by injecting their own stem cells into the injured parts of their spinal cords.
Headed by Jeon Sang-yong of Asan Medical Center in Seoul, the team treated 10 patients suffering general paralysis with the stem cell-based therapy and three experienced a significant recovery.
The latter’s exact condition was not immediately revealed, but Jeon said they could “move their limbs on their own.” Before the treatment, they were unable to do so, and also had limited sensory feeling in their body, he said.
Jeon confirmed their dramatic recovery by regularly scanning them through magnetic resonance imaging.
Among the 10 test subjects was a patient who had a suffered a spinal cord injury eight years ago, the hospital said.
The three recovering patients felt their conditions improved in the early stages of the treatment. They reported a gradual improvement as they became able to control, though limitedly, their muscles on their own.
“This treatment proved the effectiveness of stem cell-based remedies,” Jeon said. “But we still have a long way to go because the treatment failed to help all the patients. More study and research need to be done.”