Stem cells give new hope for spinal cord injury victims

How stem cells can help regenerate damaged tissues, increase mobility and sensation, and improve the quality of life for spinal cord injury victims.



Although clinics and medical facilities may serve a wide range of patients across a diverse spectrum of diseases and disorders, in many cases, physicians treat specific conditions far more frequently than others.


After all, some diseases and disorders are far more common than others. At BioXcellerator, for example, we treat a diverse group of patients at our state-of-the-art stem cell clinic in Colombia. But because stem cells give the body more resources to regenerate tissue, we tend to see many patients with conditions that emerge over many years – age-related disorders such as degenerative disc disease in the spine, osteoarthritis, and many others.


So many of our patients represent an older group, and the conditions they’re treated for aren’t based on a sudden event.



But younger patients are benefitting from stem cell therapy, too. But they tend to be treated not for age-related disorders, but after sudden and tragic injury that changes life in an instant – such as an accident that causes spinal cord damage and paralysis.


Although spinal cord injury is a lot less common than diseases such as osteoarthritis, there’s certainly pain. Much of that pain comes from a feeling of helplessness, a sense of vulnerability when envisioning a bleak and uncertain future.


Think about it. One moment you’re enjoying an active and vital life. Yet in one instant an injury severs or damages your spinal cord so that you can’t feel your legs (or in some cases, your arms), can’t move, or even maintain control of bodily functions.


That’s heartbreaking – especially for younger victims who sustain such an injury at a time that should be the prime of one’s life – not the onset of lingering disability.


Until recently, there was little hope of recovery. But new advancements in stem cell science now offer new hope.


Cherishing “the little things”:Stem cells: regenerating spinal cord tissue to restore sensation and mobility


Based on the body’s natural repair process, stem cells are used to regenerate tissue and promote healing throughout the body. That’s why an infusion of high-potency stem cells can help:

  • Regenerate damaged cartilage tissue to promote healing in spinal disc disease

  • Create new cells to modulate immunity and control symptoms of autoimmune disorders

  • And even ease inflammation that causes chronic pain

In the same way, stem cells can also help regenerate cells to promote healing of the spinal cord. We haven’t seen patients totally recover, but we’ve certainly given many patients new hope to improve the quality of their lives when physicians have told them not to expect any improvement at all.


Back in 2019, we treated Dustin Bunch. He’s a California firefighter with a wife and two children who suffered a devastating boating accident that left him a quadriplegic.


As Dustin told us, after his accident, “I couldn’t move anything below my neck and was not ever supposed to be able to move my arms and legs again. That was rough.”


But after a series of stem cell treatments, Dustin explained that he’s recovered a lot more function. He said, “I can pick up a cup, I can drink my own water, I can start to take my own shirt off. “


“It’s the little things. My daughter likes to take my hat off sometimes and now being able to put simply put my hat back on and hold her. I cherish these moments. All these are things I couldn’t do six months ago -- before my stem cell treatment at BioXcellerator.”


More advanced stem cell treatment: “We have to try it.”


Another patient we treated, Caroll Comes, had sustained a serious injury in a horse accident with damage to her spine that left her a paraplegic. She researched stem cell therapy and as she told us she found out that “stem cell treatment in the U.S. is definitely not as advanced,” also explaining that she decided to travel outside the U.S. for treatment because “we have to try it, because we don’t want those ‘what ifs’ in the future.”


She’s right. At BioXcellerator, our proprietary protocols for creating infusions of stem cells with the highest possible potency aren’t offered at U.S. clinics.


That protocol begins by taking a specific type of stem cell – mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) from Wharton’s Jelly in donated umbilical cords – because those cells are known for their high potency.


We then screen those cells for properties that our scientists have identified as indicating higher potency. Then we take the cells that meet strict criteria, refine and purify them, and then culture and expand them into infusions of millions of high-potency stem cells for treatment.


Although Caroll still suffers from her injury, she has recovered some functionality and sensation in her legs.



Even more advancements in the years ahead


For many of the patients we treat, surgery and medication may be treatment options, but medications may cause serious side effects and surgery can often put patients at risk. But stem cell therapy has emerged as another treatment option that’s less invasive with little risk of side effects. It’s certainly rewarding to work with the pioneers of regenerative medicine who have helped give patients improved treatment choices.


But for spinal cord victims, surgery and medication rarely offer any hope at all. That makes our advanced research even more rewarding. Even a few years ago, the idea that spinal cord injury victims could recover at least some function seemed outlandish. But as I see it, these innovative treatments demonstrate the potential for even more advanced treatments in the years ahead and the potential for a better quality of life for spinal cord victims and their families.



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