Skip to comments.Non Embryonic Stem Cell Treatment Allows Paralysed Brazilian To Walk, Talk Again
Posted on 11/23/2004 10:20:12 PM PST by Coleus
Non Embryonic Stem Cell Treatment Allows Paralysed Brazilian To Walk, Talk Again
RIO DE JANEIRO, November 23, 2004 (LifeSiteNews.com) - Brazilian scientists have successfully transplanted adult stem cells into a woman's brain, facilitating her recovery from a brain hemorrhage that left her paralysed and unable to talk.
Maria da Graca Pomeceno, 54, had bone marrow stem cells taken from her pelvis and injected into her damaged brain. Local television broadcasts showed her walking up stairs and talking.
Hans Fernando Dohmann, director of Rio's Pro-Cardiaco Hospital, said that hers was the first reported successful treatment of this condition, but that trials with 14 more patients are in the works. "We are still at a stage where we are focusing on the safety of the procedure and trying to avoid potential side effects. The next phase will be to test the treatment's effectiveness," he told the AFP.
Dohmann said, however, that he also supports the use of embryonic stem cells, which have had vastly less success than adult stem cells, praising proposed legislation tabled by the Brazilian Senate that would legalize the unethical research.
|Brazilians to widen stem-cell study in strokes|
|Nov 22 (Reuters) - Brazilian doctors who infused a stroke victim's brain with stem cells contained in bone marrow said on Friday they would try the treatment in others after seeing signs it may have helped the patient recover.
Dr. Hans Fernando Dohmann, coordinator of research at the Pro-Cardiac Hospital in Rio de Janeiro, told Reuters a full test program on 15 patients would now go ahead to see if stem cells really can help stroke victims.
Dohmann said that while the patient's recovery could have occurred naturally, it was quite possible that stem cells did help. Bone marrow is a rich source of adult stem cells, which are blood cells that retain the capacity to grow into a range of cells including white blood cells and heart cells.
"What excites us most is that there is biological activity (in the area affected by the stroke) ... that the injection of cells led to no electric disturbances in the brain, and there was no inflammatory reaction," Dohmann said.
The research is performed jointly with the Rio de Janeiro Federal University.
"We have seen no reports of such experiments elsewhere, so we presume we are the first," Dohmann added.
The patient, a 54-year-old woman, suffered a stroke in August that affected the dominant part of her brain. She lost movement in the right side of her body and could not understand other people or communicate with them.
Bone-marrow cells from her body were slowly infused in the middle cerebral artery through a catheter on the fifth day after her stroke. After 17 days she was discharged, having recovered movements, comprehension and some speech, with further improvements reported in the following months.
In September, Dohmann's team said tests showed that bone-marrow cells can reinvigorate dying hearts of patients and grow tiny new arteries and heart-muscle tissue, a treatment that may one day make many heart transplants unnecessary.
Four heart patients out of the five studied no longer needed transplants after being treated with stem cells.
Adult stem cells such as those in bone marrow are already used to treat several diseases. They are different from embryonic stem cells, which scientists believe have an even greater potential in medicine. However, the use of embryonic stem cells has met opposition on moral grounds because producing them requires the destruction of human embryos.
A Brazilian woman who suffered a brain haemorrhage that left her paralysed on one side has regained her ability to walk and talk after undergoing a stem cell transplant, hospital officials say.
Doctors injected the stem cells into the brain of Maria da Graca Pomeceno, 54, five days after a brain haemorrhage left her a hemiplegic.
The cells had been extracted from bone marrow in her pelvis.
The new therapy is being tested for the first time in Brazil.
Hans Fernando Dohmann, director of Rio's Pro-Cardiaco Hospital, says it appears to show that stem cells could help patients recover from vascular problems.
Dr Dohmann warns that a trial involving just one person does not automatically mean that the treatment will work for other patients.
"[But] I would say that we have entered a new era in treating this condition," he said.
"We are still at a stage where we are focusing on the safety of the procedure and trying to avoid potential side effects.
"The next phase will be to test the treatment's effectiveness."
The experimental treatment used by Rio's Pro-Cardiaco Hospital and the Federal University of Rio will be tested on 14 other patients.
Dr Dohmann says that by 2006, the research should be complete.
If all goes well, the treatment can be used safely in as little as five to seven years from now.
Local television stations show Ms Pomeceno walking up the stairs of her house and talking.
The brain haemorrhage had made it difficult for her to understand speech and left her completely unable to talk.
Dr Dohmann says he supports the use of embryonic stem cells in research.
"Embryonic cells are much stronger than adult stem cells, but we must learn how to control these cells before implanting them in humans," he said.
He says that the bioethics legislation proposed by the Brazilian Senate is "good" for the country.
"It allows researchers to obtain the necessary knowledge, using only embryos that would be frozen and eventually destroyed," he said.
HERE'S a link to a free manuscript that tries to give a biological backgrounder for the lay person, for those not very familiar with the science of stem cells and cloning.
It's so frustrating to see valid research and work ignored and "glamorous" causes like embroyo stem cell research heralded. The god Molech doesn't like competition, I guess.
If anyone wants on or off my ProLife Ping List, please notify me here or by freepmail.
Apparently Chris Reeves backed the wrong candidate and the wrong science.
In other news, Jon Edwards has flown down to Brazil to set up a malpractice mill for patients that can't walk after being treated with adult stem cells.
Darn, another reason to slaughter babies bites the dust! [/sarcasm]
Why would he bother with the embryonic stem cells when he KNOWS they are less successful than the adult stem cells?
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.