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Stem cell treatment for spinal cord injury causes added problems

A spinal cord injury in West Virginia can unfortunately impact a person’s ability to affect functions such as bladder control and even breathing. One woman several years ago underwent a procedure to repair her spinal cord injury. However, it was recently discovered that she had developed a mass in the area where cells were implanted as part of the procedure. This is the first occurrence of something of this nature, researchers said.

The woman suffered spinal cord damage in a car accident when she was 18 years old. Due to the injury, she had no motor strength in her lower extremities. The woman decided to undergo an experimental treatment involving stem cells since other attempts to fix her problem were unsuccessful.

The patient initially experienced mid- and lower-back discomfort that progressively worsened for an entire year. She then returned for an evaluation eight years following her stem cell procedure. That’s when doctors found a spinal cord mass. The incident underscores the importance of monitoring these types of stem cell treatments. The monitoring should take place over the course of several years, according to researchers.

Spinal cord injury is one type of physical injury that can impact a person for years and likely for the rest of his or her life. That’s why it’s understandable to feel angry if one’s injury was the result of another person’s negligence. If an accident led to the injury, it is within the right of the victim to file a liability claim against the allegedly offending party. Financial restitution from a case that is litigated successfully can help the victim to pay for medical care required to address his or her spinal cord damage in West Virginia.

Source:, "Neural stem cell therapy linked to development of spinal cord mass", BJ Dlouhy, July 17, 2014

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