Researchers in Brazil have found that Mesenchymal Stem Cells (MSCs) may hold the potential to treat chronic spinal cord injuries. Spinal Cord Injuries (SCI) can differ in severity, however, treatment for such trauma is limited due to the stretching and tearing of the nervous tissue as well as the scar formations around the spine. In recent years, doctors have discovered MSCs can help to restore the function and behaviors of those with an SCI, by reducing glial scarring and improving motor functions. A long-term clinical study found that six months after patients were injected with autologous MSCs, six out of ten patients reported improved motor strength and three reported a gradual improvement in their daily activities. Researchers found that there were no adverse effects related to the injection of autologous (one’s own) MSCs, as there has been previously reported with the injection of embryonic stem cells. Although these results are limited and preliminary, the results of the study are promising for MSC therapy as an option for spinal cord injuries.
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