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Spinal cord injuries may soon be treated with stem cells

People in New York who suffer from injuries to their spinal cord can have a range of different physical and neurological problems caused by inflammation and cell death in the spinal cord. Every year, around 230,000 people in the United States sustain an acute spinal cord injury that permanently alters their life.

It is possible that in the future many of the problems experienced by people with spinal cord trauma will be treated with stem cell therapy. Researchers from the Rothman Institute at Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia recently claimed that stem cell treatments for spinal cord injuries are realistic and promising.

A stem cell therapy literature review was published in the April edition of the Journal of the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons. In the review, spine researchers evaluated the research that has been done on different kinds of stem cell therapies. Some of the stem cell therapies that were discussed include mesenchymal stem cells for preventing cell death, embryonic stem cells for promoting cell growth and peripheral nervous system stem cells to temporarily replace dead cells. The review also broadly covered new research into induced pluripotent stem cells, which offer the same benefits as embryonic stem cells without the ethical controversy.

A patient with a debilitating spinal cord injury may benefit from new therapies. However, the initial medical expenses and ongoing treatment expenses for a spinal cord injury are often more than an injured person can afford. A lawyer might be able to aid an injured person in pursuing financial compensation from the party that was responsible for their serious injury.

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