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Quadriplegic Gains Upper Body Motor Control Through Stem Cells [Daily Bloggity Entry #359]

Posted September 27th, 2016 at 1:00 PM by El Héroe Oscuro
Updated September 28th, 2016 at 1:21 AM by El Héroe Oscuro




Quadriplegic Gains Upper Body
Motor Control Through Stem Cells

Date: 27 September 2016
Time: 5:30 AM ET
Mood: Opposite of how I felt yesterday

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Technology is really a crazy thing eh? Over the weekend, neuroscientists made an enormous breakthrough in stem cell research, using stem cells to allow a quadriplegic recovered mobility of his upper body. This nothing short of a miracle happened only two months into the procedure, where today he can feed himself, use a cellphone, operate a motorized wheelchair, and write his own name.

This is such the case of 21-year-old Kris Boeson. Shortly before his 21st birthday, the young man swerved off the road in his car and crashed into a telephone pole, consequently damaging his cervical spine and paralyzing him. The Keck Medical Center of USC saw that he qualified for a new experimental treatment, one that involved injecting into Kris' cervical spine a pseudo-stem cell treatment - called ASTP-OPC - that could have possibly given him back the motor skills that he lost. His parents were warned that there was a good chance that their son would be permanently paralyzed from the neck down, however, they went with the treatment plan.

Charles Liu, director of the USC Neurorestoration Center, had this to say on the matter: "As of 90 days post-treatment, Kris has gained significant improvement in his motor function, up to two spinal cord levels. In Kris' case, two spinal cord levels means the differences between using your hands to brush your teeth, operate a computer or do other things you wouldn't otherwise be able to do, so having this level of functional independence cannot be overstated." Doctors have been readily assessing him at different intervals, from seven days, 30 days, 60 days, and 90 days post-injection. He will be under further review and assessed at the 180 day, 270 day, and one year mark of post-injection.

It's unclear to say whether or not Kris will ultimately regain full control over his gross motor skills he had prior to the accident. However, it's clear that this experimental procedure is a breakthrough in stem cell research and the results can not be overlooked; quadriplegics will hopefully now have an option out there that increases the chances of regaining even parts of their lost motor skills. If you would like to read the full article on the matter, you can find it here. What do you guys think? Is this a breakthrough in terms of science? Are there any drawbacks to this? Comment below as I'd love to hear and discuss with you what you have to say about this topic!

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- El Héroe Oscuro

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  1. Old Comment
    Nah's Avatar
    That's pretty cool really. I hope that research into this still continues. If we can eventually cure all forms of paralysis fairly easily that'd be pretty psyducking huge.
    Posted September 27th, 2016 at 6:38 PM by Nah Nah is offline