Spinal injuries are not uncommon in this era of machines and motor vehicles; every year 10,000 to 12,000 Americans acquire spinal cord injuries mostly as a result of road accidents and violence by gun or knife. The bad thing about spinal injuries is that the neuronal damage, if present, is permanent. Despite of optimal neuro-surgical treatments, the prognosis remains poor for patients who have acquired neuronal damage. Spinal cord injuries result in paralysis of limbs, impairment of urinary bladder function (urinary retention or urinary incontinence), sexual dysfunction (erectile dysfunction, impotence, etc.) and many other problems depending on the segment of spinal cord damaged. Treatment and rehabilitation of spinal cord injuries costs around four billion dollars annually in United States which is a big blow to the economy of any country. Most of the sufferers of spinal cord injury are young so it demands a better treatment which reverses the disabilities.
The sound of Stem cell therapy is dominating the noise of conventional treatments for spinal cord injuries. It is far better than any other treatment of spinal cord injuries. Stem cell therapy has the beauty of regenerating damaged neurons and reviving their normal function. Several studies on stem cell therapy in the treatment of spinal cord injuries advocate its role in improving disabilities. Stem cell therapy helps spinal cord injuries in the following ways,
- Stem cells replace damaged neurons and take their function to improve disabilities present in the patient
- Stem cells produce factors which promote growth of cells responsible for producing neuronal sheath (myelin sheath). This aspect of stem cell therapy is helpful in reviving the function of neurons which lose their sheath after spinal cord injury.
- Stem cells protect cells in the location of injury by producing specific protective substances if these are transplanted shortly after the injury.
All the three ways of repairing spinal cord injury by stem cells are unique and lessen the misery of disability collectively.
Getting stem cell transplantation earlier after spinal cord injury carries very good prognosis and curtail neuronal dysfunction to minimum but it also has shown utility in old spinal cord injuries. A report from Portugal and Wayne state university clearly shows the success of stem cell therapy in treatment of bit old spinal cord injuries. Dr. David and his team of researchers selected 20 patients of spinal cord injuries who were unable to walk. Duration of spinal cord injuries in these patients was between 18 months to 15 years. These patients were treated with stem cell transplantation; the results amazed all the researchers. Thirteen patients out of twenty were able to walk after the therapy and exercise program. This was a great success and researchers believe that stem cell therapy can even improve neuronal function in patients who suffered spinal cord injury months or years ago. Although there are chances of improvement if stem cell therapy is carried years after the spinal injury but a better and more predictable response is noted in those who receive stem cell therapy earlier after the injury.
Where Stem Cell Therapy Treatments Are Available
Many centers in different countries of the worlds claim to provide competitive stem cell therapy for spinal cord injuries but actual situation is altogether different. In actual sense, stem cell therapy at its best is only available in a few centers of the world and Mexico is among the best stem cell therapy providers. Our centers at Tijuana and Guadalajara are actively providing the stem cell therapy service for a number of diseases including diabetes mellitus, Parkinsonism, multiple sclerosis, chronic obstructive pulmonary diseases, stroke, heart attack and many other diseases. Stems cells available for the patient at these centers are obtained from cord blood which is a 100% ethical source all over the world. The procedure takes around six weeks and team of experts put their whole efforts to make these treatments safe and effective. These centers not only provide service for United States but patients from all over the world are benefited with best services of these centers. Truly these are world-class centers for treatment and research on stem cell therapy.