More MS news articles for April 2001

Stem Cell Transplantation Can be Therapeutic for Traumatic Spinal Cord Injury

Neurosurgeons have recently found that adult stem cells (from the central nervous system) can provide alternative therapeutic treatment for traumatic spinal cord injury. The study will be presented on Monday, April 23, 2001, during the 69th Annual Meeting of the American Association of Neurological Surgeons.

http://www.newswise.com/articles/2001/4/SPINAL.AAS.html

American Association of Neurological Surgeons (AANS)
24-Apr-01
CONTACT: 847/378-0517
Heather Monroe (hlm@aans.org)

TORONTO (April 23, 2001) -- Neurosurgeons have recently found that adult stem cells (from the central nervous system) can provide alternative therapeutic treatment for traumatic spinal cord injury. The study, "Transplantation of Subpendymal Stem Cells from the Adult Mammalian Forebrain: A Therapeutic Strategy for Traumatic Spinal Cord Injury," will be presented by Gwen Schwartz, Charles H. Tator, MD, Scellig S. Stone, Cindi M. Morshead, PhD, Linda Lee and Derek Van Der Kooy, PhD, on Monday, April 23, 2001, during the 69th Annual Meeting of the American Association of Neurological Surgeons.

The findings of this study describe three main components of therapeutic treatment including the feasibility of adult mouse brain-derived cell transplantation into the subacutely-injured adult mouse spinal cord, the functional effect of these transplants in injured mice and the effectiveness of transplanted cells after injury.

The study focuses on 15 adult female mice who suffered from moderately severe spinal cord injury. Eight injured mice received cell transplants, while the other seven mice, serving as experimental controls, received no transplanted cells. All animals survived for seven days following the transplantation procedure. Seven days after stem cell transplantation, the animals' functional neurological recovery was evaluated. The authors observed key areas of concern including joint movement and motor coordination.

"Functional recovery was found to be significantly improved in transplanted mice as compared to non-transplanted mice", said Charles Tator, MD, AANS member and co-author of the study. "The transplanted mice showed a much greater trend toward improved recovery." This study demonstrated that transplantation of stem cells into the subacute traumatically injured adult mouse spinal cord, is a feasible surgical strategy for spinal cord injury.

"Additional studies aimed at assessing the capacity of these cells to enhance, repair and regenerate lost tissue and also improve functional recovery after injury, are ongoing in our laboratory," added Charles Tator, MD. "However, further laboratory tests of this strategy are necessary before clinical trials in humans can be considered."

In summary, central nervous system tissue transplants are capable of integrating into the adult mammalian brain and spinal cord and can have important implications for functional recovery from traumatic and degenerative central nervous system disorders.

Founded in 1931 as the Harvey Cushing Society, the American Association of Neurological Surgeons is a scientific and educational association with nearly 5,800 members worldwide. The AANS is dedicated to advancing the specialty of neurological surgery in order to provide the highest quality of neurosurgical care to the public. All active members of the AANS are Board-certified by the American Board of Neurological Surgery. Neurological surgery is the medical specialty concerned with the prevention, diagnosis, treatment and rehabilitation of disorders that affect the spinal column, spinal cord, brain, nervous system and peripheral nerves.
 

Media Representatives: If you would like to cover the meeting or interview a neurosurgeon -- either on-site or via telephone -- please contact the AANS Communications Department at (847) 378-0517 or call the Annual Meeting Press Room beginning Monday, April 23 at (416) 585-3878 (3879).