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Paralyzed Man Made to Walk Again

10/20/2014 9:00 PM

Using cells transplanted from the patients nose were implanted in his spinal cord...

"Darek Fidyka, who was paralyzed from the chest down in a knife attack in 2010, can now walk using a frame.

The treatment, a world first, was carried out by surgeons in Poland in collaboration with scientists in London.

Details of the research are published in the journal Cell Transplantation."

"Dr Pawel Tabakow, consultant neurosurgeon at Wroclaw University Hospital, who led the Polish research team, said: "It's amazing to see how regeneration of the spinal cord, something that was thought impossible for many years, is becoming a reality."

The treatment used olfactory ensheathing cells (OECs) - specialist cells that form part of the sense of smell.

OECs act as pathway cells that enable nerve fibres in the olfactory system to be continually renewed."

"The complex neural circuitry responsible for our sense of smell is the only part of the nervous system that regenerates throughout adult life."

http://www.bbc.com/news/health-29645760

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#1

Re: Paralyzed Man Made to Walk Again

10/21/2014 12:17 AM
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#2

Re: Paralyzed Man Made to Walk Again

10/21/2014 6:32 PM

Very cool, but I'm not so sure about the quote that "The complex neural circuitry responsible for our sense of smell is the only part of the nervous system that regenerates throughout adult life."

The OEC's seem to have a unique property of being able to stimulate regeneration in the spinal cord. But other cells and/or precursors are implicated, for example in neurogenesis in the hippocampus.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25287858

Still much to be learned about neural regeneration/ adult neurogenesis - not so long ago it was thought impossible in adults, when really it's a fundamental process.

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#3

Re: Paralyzed Man Made to Walk Again

10/21/2014 10:48 PM

We need to keep an open mind in so many ways ... and maybe keep up with our 'brothers and sisters' that might be living in one of the possible universes out there.

As I understand it, in the particular nerve grafting, there were 'nose cells' deposited at each end of the break and 'ankle cells' to create a bridge .... plus who knows how many mice and rats that were part of the development pathway. It was a team effort.

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#4
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Re: Paralyzed Man Made to Walk Again

10/22/2014 10:29 AM

Not "nose cells"...that's misleading. It was cells from one of two olfactory glands situated in the brain.

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