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Stem cell transplant enables paralyzed individual to walk again


Apr 3, 2024

Shortly after, Chris was invited to participate in an experimental procedure where stem cells are transplanted into the spine. Stem cells are unique cells with the potential to develop into any cell in the body. The stem cells are injected into the spinal cord to replenish damaged areas. Through recovery and rehabilitation, the spinal cord is rebuilt, allowing the transmission of electrical signals from the brain to the muscles to be restored.

The Mayo Clinic trial involved ten paraplegics, with Chris Baer being the first participant. Stem cells were harvested from his body, grown in a laboratory to 100 million cells, and then injected into his lumbar spine. Five years later, his doctors reported a remarkable transformation: from being entirely paralyzed, except for his head, Chris had become an independent individual who could walk and move his limbs.

The results of the experiment showed that seven out of the ten patients experienced muscle movement in previously paralyzed areas and could even sense light touches. While three patients did not respond to the stem cell therapy, their condition did not worsen either. Dr. Lior Unger, deputy director of the neurosurgery department at Sheba Tel Hashomer Medical Center, described the treatment as a significant breakthrough in medicine, emphasizing the potential of stem cells to repair damaged nerve cells in the spinal cord.

He noted that more research is needed to determine the long-term effects of the treatment, but it showcases the future potential of using stem cells as a versatile healing tool in the medical field.

By editor

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