Adult stem cells restore feeling in paraplegic?
For all that talk from the pundits and politicians about how embryonic stem cells could have cured, and even “saved” Christopher Reed … perhaps they should read this.
In an apparent major breakthrough, scientists in Korea report using umbilical cord blood stem cells to restore feeling and mobility to a spinal-cord injury patient. The research, published in the peer-reviewed journal Cythotherapy, centered on a woman had been a paraplegic 19 years due to an accident.However, keep in mind ...
After an infusion of umbilical cord blood stem cells, stunning results were recorded:
"The patient could move her hips and feel her hip skin on day 15 after transplantation. On day 25 after transplantation her feet responded to stimulation."
Umbilical cord cells are considered "adult stem cells," in contrast to embryonic stem cells, which have raised ethical concerns because a human embryo must be destroyed in order to harvest them.
Bioethics specialist Wesley J. Smith, writing in Lifesite.com, expressed enthusiasm about the apparent breakthrough, but also urged caution.
"We have to be cautious," said Smith, a senior fellow at the Seattle-based Discovery Institute and a special consultant to the Center for Bioethics and Culture. "One patient does not a treatment make."
The authors of the study note, writes Smith, that the lamenectomy the patient received might have offered some benefit.
"But still, this is a wonderful story that offers tremendous hope for paralyzed patients," he said.