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New therapy involving cells may help spinal cord injury patients

Spinal cord injuries can take their toll on patients in West Virginia both physically and emotionally. However, a brand new therapy for treating spinal cord injury may give hope to people who have lost their sensory and motor function below their injury sites. The new therapy involves the use of AST-OPC1 cells.

Researchers recently found that the new therapy led to improvement both at six months and at nine months. A total of 10 million of the AST-OPC1 cells were used as part of the therapy. The patients who underwent the therapy were better able to move their fingers, arms and hands at six and nine months after the administration of the cells.

These cells are derived from embryonic stem cells. The process of creating AST-OPC1 involves converting embryonic stem cells into cells located in the spinal cord and brain, called oligodendrocyte progenitor cells. These cells support the healthy functioning of nerve cells and may improve how poorly functioning nerves perform. With the new therapy, it may be possible for people with spinal cord injuries to experience a greater quality of life and live more independently.

Sometimes a spinal cord injury is the result of a West Virginia car crash or another type of accident caused by the negligence of another party. In these situations, it is within the rights of the injured victim to file a personal injury claim against that other party, seeking a monetary judgment for incurred damages. No amount of money can undo the events leading to a life-changing spinal cord injury. However, a successful claim may help the victim to experience a sense of justice and more easily move forward from the injury-causing incident.

Source:, "Generating improvement in spinal cord injuries", Jan. 24, 2017

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