Stem Cell and Regenerative Medicine

Open Access ISSN: 2639-9512


Traumatic Spinal Cord Injury at T12 Causing Complete Paraplegia for 12-Years Duration Treated with Autologous Telomerase Positive Stem Cells

Authors: Henry E. Young, Mark O. Speight.

A 36-year-old paraplegic female presented to the clinic for bi-monthly pain management below thoracic level, T12. She was absent of cutaneous sensation below level of T12, absent of bladder/rectum function, absent genital function, and could not move around without the use of a wheelchair. She displayed anxiety, depression, and decreased feeling of self-worth. Her intense pain was due to a traumatic spinal cord crush injury from a car accident 12 years previously. To date, no effective pharmacological or regenerative treatment has been developed to treat chronic spinal cord injuries. Advances in stem cell technologies (e.g., embryonic stem cells (ESCs), induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs), neural stem cells (NSCs), NSCs induced from either iPSCs or ESCs, mesenchymal stem cells, medicinal signaling cells, etc.), biomaterials, immune engineering, and nanotechnologies have been applied to regenerative therapies following subacute spinal cord injuries. Although these therapies have proven safe for subacute spinal cord injury in animal models, their efficacy in clinical trials to date has not been demonstrated. The participant was presented with opportunity to join a clinical trial using autologous adult-derived telomerase positive stem cells for amelioration of her neurogenic problems. She agreed to the trial because she wanted to walk. Her first autologous stem cell transplant did not ameliorate any of her symptoms. In retrospect, this was due to the anesthetic having a 100% kill ratio for telomerase positive stem cells. Switching to an anesthetic with a 0% kill ratio allowed the telomerase positive stem cells the potential to restore neurogenic function as previously noted for Parkinson disease, age-related dry macular degeneration, and Alzheimer’s disease. Following two telomerase positive stem cell treatments there was restoration of sensation from below her umbilicus to just proximal to her knee joints and restoration of function of her urinary bladder and rectum. Due to the limited time frame following her treatments (e.g., four months), no sustained voluntary control was seen in the musculature of her lower extremities. Her inability to walk following two telomerase positive stem cell treatments prompted her to drop out of the study. Due to restoration of function to damaged structures of the central and peripheral nervous system after following telomerase positive stem cell transplants in this chronic spinal cord injured patient, suggest that TSCs, PSCs, and MesoSCs might have been involved in this restorative process. Since no adverse events were reported during her study, autologous telomerase positive stem cells appeared to be safe for administration. And with restoration of the neurogenic activities during the limited time frame of treatment, administration of telomerase positive stem cells appears to be efficacious in their activities to restore neurogenic function to the tissues absent of those activities for 12 years duration.

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