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Spinal research news – Japanese research may help spinal injury victims

15th December 2011

The study saw researchers using dental pulp stem cells to repair damaged nerves and grow new cells to support the spinal cord, in rats with back injuries. Some of the rats regained movement in their legs following the procedure.

A news report on the study, published by The Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology News website, states that the rodents were able to walk “without weight support” within five weeks of undergoing the treatment.

It is hoped that by removing stem cells from a wisdom tooth and transplanting the matter into spinal tissues, back injury patients, who have suffered damage to their spine in an accident, may regain some mobility.

Reportedly this procedure would not cause any further health problems for the patient.

These results are promising for human spinal injury victims, but, as a spokesperson for the spinal injury charity Aspire stated, “Even once a cure has been identified it will take considerable time before it is put into practice for every one of the 1,200 people who will be injured in the UK this year and the 40,000 people already living with spinal cord injuries.”

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