Paralysed man a walks again after pioneering surgery

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Paralysed man a walks again after pioneering surgery

Postby David1949 » Tue Oct 21, 2014 7:50 am

Paralysed man Darek Fidyka walks again after pioneering surgery

Medical team regrow cells of patient’s severed spine in breakthrough that offers hope to millions with disability

A man who was completely paralysed from the waist down can walk again after a British-funded surgical breakthrough which offers hope to millions of people who are disabled by spinal cord injuries.

Polish surgeons used nerve-supporting cells from the nose of Darek Fidyka, a Bulgarian man who was injured four years ago, to provide pathways along which the broken tissue was able to grow.

The 38-year-old, who is believed to be the first person in the world to recover from complete severing of the spinal nerves, can now walk with a frame and has been able to resume an independent life, even to the extent of driving a car, while sensation has returned to his lower limbs.

Professor Geoffrey Raisman, whose team at University College London’s institute of neurology discovered the technique, said: “We believe that this procedure is the breakthrough which, as it is further developed, will result in a historic change in the currently hopeless outlook for people disabled by spinal cord injury.”

Source: http://www.theguardian.com/science/2014/oct/21/paralysed-darek-fidyka-pioneering-surgery

For those of us who have lesions in the spinal cord this procedure might offer us some hope.
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Re: Paralysed man a walks again after pioneering surgery

Postby DrGeoff » Tue Oct 21, 2014 9:14 am

Yes, I imagine that anyone with (say) dropped foot will be wondering where they can get the procedure outside of Poland.
I would also imagine that the less ethical members of the medical community will be offering the procedure in (say) India for about $15K by the weekend.
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Re: Paralysed man a walks again after pioneering surgery

Postby David1949 » Tue Oct 21, 2014 10:08 am

DrGeoff wrote:Yes, I imagine that anyone with (say) dropped foot will be wondering where they can get the procedure outside of Poland.
I would also imagine that the less ethical members of the medical community will be offering the procedure in (say) India for about $15K by the weekend.
Geoff


Well when the mainstream medical community has a cure for MS I'm sure we will all beat a path to their door. But they don't have a cure or even a treatment for those of us with PPMS. So if we want relief from this disease we have to look elsewhere. Would I pay $15,000 for that... in India? Absolutely. People with RRMS now pay $20,000 to $40,000 per year for DMDs that reduce the number of relapses, but don't offer even a chance of a cure. Some of the drugs are said to delay the progression of disability in people with RRMS but one major study refutes that claim. http://www.nytimes.com/2012/07/18/health/research/multiple-sclerosis-drug-doesnt-stop-disability-study-finds.html?_r=5&
Which one is a better deal? $15,000 for a procedure that might reverse disability or $20,000 to $40,000 every year for something that offers little if any chance of reversing disability. If it wasn't for medical insurance no one would bother with those drugs. No one could afford them.

It seems to me that people in the medical community are always quick to crush any possible hope for people with MS. Why is that?
Life with MS can be pretty miserable, and it's even worse when there is no hope.
Last edited by David1949 on Tue Oct 21, 2014 12:21 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Paralysed man a walks again after pioneering surgery

Postby trisca » Tue Oct 21, 2014 10:28 am

Just saw this on the nightly ews. The University College professor that pioneered it says 3-5 years for the treatment to get out of the trial phase.

He took on of the two olfactory bulbs from the nose/brain and implanted in the break in the spine. The olfactory bulbs are the only part of the nervous system that is constantly regenerating itself. His theory was that it would act as a 'bridge' for the spine.

Wonder how that translates to ms? Considering my spine is severing itself I'm a little bit interested.
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Re: Paralysed man a walks again after pioneering surgery

Postby DrGeoff » Tue Oct 21, 2014 3:02 pm

David1949 wrote:So if we want relief from this disease we have to look elsewhere.


This was exactly the attitude that lead quite a few people to head for Holland a few years back when stem cell treatments were the latest thing to hit the media.
Then the Dutch authorities discovered that the stem cells involved were being harvested from a bovine source - and shut the clinic down.
Contrast that with the properly organised stem-cell trials being run in Chicago, with a totally transparent procedure.

OK, if you know that your PPMS is really down to a spinal lesion or two, and nothing else, fine: I am quite sure that there will be a dubious clinic somewhere in the third world just dying to take your hard earned bucks.
Me, I know where in the spine my MS started, and with SPMS there is no medication that can do anything for me - but there are also a few lesions in the brain to complicate things. Would I chance such a treatment outside of a reputable western clinic? Get real.

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Re: Paralysed man a walks again after pioneering surgery

Postby David1949 » Tue Oct 21, 2014 9:11 pm

Dr.Geoff
Are you familiar with Anette Funicello's case? She was an actress who was afflicted by PPMS in her mid 40's. She died recently after 25 years with MS. For the last few years before her death she was completely paralyzed, unable to walk or talk or even move. To my way of thinking that is a fate worse than death. How much of a chance would you be willing to take to avoid that fate? I think there are many people with MS who would say either cure me or kill me. And if the odds were 50-50 either way they'd take it. Or you could wait for the pharmaceutical industry to develop a cure, which will likely be never.
Suit yourself.
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Re: Paralysed man a walks again after pioneering surgery

Postby DrGeoff » Wed Oct 22, 2014 3:13 am

David1949 wrote:Dr.Geoff
Are you familiar with Anette Funicello's case? She was an actress who was afflicted by PPMS in her mid 40's. She died recently after 25 years with MS. For the last few years before her death she was completely paralyzed, unable to walk or talk or even move. To my way of thinking that is a fate worse than death. How much of a chance would you be willing to take to avoid that fate? I think there are many people with MS who would say either cure me or kill me. And if the odds were 50-50 either way they'd take it. Or you could wait for the pharmaceutical industry to develop a cure, which will likely be never.
Suit yourself.

I wonder just why you have selected Annette Funicello as an example.
Yes, I totally agree that "Locked-In Syndrome" is a fate worse than death.
However, since she lost the ability to speak in 2009 (and remained that way until her death in 2013) it should be obvious that her problems were not solely caused by spinal deterioration. Accordingly, the pioneering treatment of Raisman at UCL would not have returned her voice.

OK, so if you want to have a new wonder treatment at a third world clinic where you have no concept of what their medical standards are - go right ahead.

I will point out that the same thing happened when Zamboni went public on CCSVI.
Without getting into the debate as to whether CCSVI is a cause or a symptom, I merely point out that within weeks of Zamboni's announcement, there were clinics all over Western and Eastern Europe and the Far East, offering the procedure. One operation in Chicago had buried in their small print that the price included the flight to India. An English (well, Scottish) clinic who announced that they would test for CCSVI and arrange for the subsequent venoplasty, had switched within 2 years to promoting TMJ when that became the new wonder treatment.

Just read trisca's post: Professor Raisman expects it to be maybe 5 years before the procedure comes out of the experimental phase.
Of course, the fast-buck guys will not wait that long before offering their treatment.

Geoff
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Re: Paralysed man a walks again after pioneering surgery

Postby centenarian100 » Thu Nov 06, 2014 2:58 pm

I tend to agree with DrGeoff

New procedures should be done in the clinical trial setting at no cost to patients. The cost of early adoption of unproven treatments and procedures is enormous. I am desperate too, but you have to understand that 99% of innovations will fail and 1% will succeed. That is just that nature of medical science. Think about the hundreds of substances purported to improve outcome in EAE and how few panned out in humans. I have been following MS research for a very long time, and so far 0% of putative "cures" have paned out.
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Re: Paralysed man a walks again after pioneering surgery

Postby 1eye » Sat Nov 08, 2014 11:14 am

I am going to share this with my friend who has been a walking quadriplegic for 35 years. A little hope goes a long way. Some people have nothing better to do with their time than to try to take it away from as many people as possible. Fun, isn't it? Optimists may not be eternal, but pessimism will shorten your life.
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