The latest news and information about what's going on with SCI science and research.
Let’s revisit the epidural stimulation story that broke in May. It was impossible to miss this, with all the major news outlets and networks offering coverage. Rob Summers, a college baseball player paralyzed five years ago by a hit and run driver (he had some sensation but no muscle function below his chest – categorized as ASIA B) was implanted with a stimulator device on his lower spinal cord. Summers, when stimulated, was able to stand unassisted for a short time and when suspended on a treadmill could take robust steps. For the background facts, see FAQ
or this overview
piece. Read More
Chondroitinase ABC (ChABC) is a type of enzyme drug that eats up certain sugar chains that form scars and block regeneration after spinal cord injury. ChABC, in combination with rehabilitation, boosts functional recovery in acute SCI. Now there is data to show that ChABC, plus rehab, works in a chronic injury model too. Read More
I’d like to recommend an article, Stem-Cell Gamble
, from the upcoming issue of Technology Review (from MIT). It’s a nicely balanced lay person’s overview of embryonic stem cell (eSC) science and the formation of clinical trials to transplant the cells in humans. It’s a well-informed take on both the eSC work that led to the Geron trial for acute spinal cord injury, and just last week, to a trial by Advanced Cell Technology to address a common eye disorder that leads to blindness. Read More