11-27-2017 11:21 AM CET - Health & Medicine
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Stem Cells in new spinal cord paraplegia study showing improvements

Press release from: MD Stem Cells

MD Stem Cells reports initial results of their new study in paraplegia using Bone Marrow Derived Stem Cells (BMSC) have shown a prompt improvement in sensory function. The Stem Cell Spinal Cord Injury Exoskeleton and Virtual Reality (SciExVR) study is an Institutional Review Board approved, patient sponsored clinical study registered with the National Institutes of Health (NIH) NCT 03225625. It uses a multi-injection and application approach of BMSC for patients with Thoracic and Lumbar spinal cord injuries or disease with motor, sensory and/or bowel-bladder dysfunction. In addition to the BMSC applications, arms include exoskeleton use and virtual reality use to further stimulate the motor and sensory neurons of the brain.
“We are excited that at the 1 month post- SciExVR visit our initial patient showed recovery of neurologic sensation - from 1 to 2 spinal cord segments improved from the original loss of function level. This was on the American Spinal Injury Association (ASIA) Injury Assessment (AIA) measured by the patient’s own physician at his rehabilitation facility pre and post-treatment” indicated Dr. Steven Levy MD, CEO of MD Stem Cells and Study Director for the SciExVR study. “It is likely that the paraspinal multi-injection of BMSC at, above and below the spinal cord injury level, combined with BMSC given intravenously and intranasally, is positively affecting the sensory cells in the dorsal roots and their associated ascending fibers”.
The American Spinal Injury Association is the leading organization in spinal cord injury and care in North America. The ASIA Injury Assessment is a comprehensive, reproducible test of sensory functions such as light touch and pin prick, as well as motor function meaning strength and movement of muscles. The exact level of impairment can be determined and any changes noted over time.
In the SciExVR study mesenchymal and other stem cells are separated from the bone marrow using an FDA cleared medical device and in full compliance with FDA guidelines on use of these stem cells. The procedure is performed in a fully licensed surgical center with board certified anesthesiology support by a fellowship trained spinal surgeon. In addition to the application of the stem cells in separate paraspinal locations, intravenous and intranasal- arms 2 and 3 are designed to potentially increase motor neuron stimulation with the hope this will encourage neuronal transdifferentiation of the BMSC. Arm 2 allows patients to use motorized external support for walking which is called an Exoskeleton and is increasingly available at rehabilitation facilities across the country. Arm 3 uses Virtual Reality exposure to similarly stimulate motor and sensory cells.
MD Stem Cells believes improvements in motor function may take at least a year to occur. Early neuroglial cell reformation, exosomal release of neurotrophic factors and mitochondrial transfer may offer initial motor recovery in neurons that are still partially viable. The ultimate goal is reconnection of transected or injuried upper motor neurons to the lower motor neurons through bridging neurons. The belief is that the brain will relearn and adjust control of any new motor and sensory reconnections which may not match the original pre-injury pathways.
“There is certainly evidence in the scientific literature of BMSC undergoing neuronal transdifferentiation in the Central Nervous System (CNS). In our own study in ophthalmology called the Stem Cell Ophthalmology Treatment Study (SCOTS) we have evidence of CD34 marked bone marrow stem cells transdiffentiating into NeuN+ cells which are neurons” remarked Dr. Levy. “We are cautiously optimistic that the same can occur along the length of the spinal cord and benefit paraplegia.”
Patients with thoracic or lumber spinal cord disease or injuries may contact Dr. Levy for more information on the SciExVR study. stevenlevy@mdstemcells.com 203-423-9494.

MD Stem Cells is a trusted and valued source of the latest information regarding clinically available adult stem cell treatments for patients. MD Stem Cells coordinates patient referrals and manages the treatment process for patients and providers.

MD Stem Cells
Steven Levy MD, CEO
3 Sylvan Road South
Westport, CT 06880
stevenlevy@mdstemcells.com

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