Stem-cell patients said to recover body sensation

Two patients in one of the worlds first tests of a stem-cell treatment for spinal-cord injury have reported feeling sensation in parts of their bodies below the injury where they felt no sensation before.

The two patients, whose identity and gender were kept confidential, are part of a trial in Switzerland of a treatment developed by a team that included UC Irvine researchers.

UC Irvine husband-wife researchers Brian Cummings and Aileen Anderson pose with their daughter, Camryn, and their dogs.

FILE PHOTO: MARK RIGHTMIRE, THE ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER

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A third patient reported no improvement in sensation, but, like the others, has suffered no ill effects from the treatment.

All three patients had suffered spinal-cord injuries at the chest level that left them with no feeling below the site of the injury.

Two of them, however, reported feeling touch and warmth down to their belly-button region after receiving injections of 20 million human neural stem cells at the injury site.

Scientists involved in the trial did not say how long it took for the patients to feel sensation after their injections, though they did say the patients improved over a six-month period.

The stem-cell treatment was developed by the UCI husband-wife research team, Brian Cummings and Aileen Anderson, using neural stem cells grown in the laboratory by StemCells Inc. of Newark, in the Bay Area.

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Stem-cell patients said to recover body sensation

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