A 27-year old woman, suffering from severe disability for the past one year following an accident, has succesfully underwent brain stemcell transplant surgery, the first such case in the country, doctors at a superspeciality hospital in Bangalore claimed on Saturday.
A team of Neurosurgeons led by Dr N K Venkataramana, Chief Neurosurgeon and Vice-Chairman, BGS Global Hospitals, carried out the complex surgery on Madhu Mallika who sustained the severe brain injury in an accident last year.
"The patient was suffering from altered sensorium, severe cognitive dysfunction and lack of movement in limbs. Following the surgery, she has now regained full consciousness, memory, communication abilities and purposive movements in limbs," Venkataramana told reporters in Bangalore.
The patient was admitted in an unconscious state with severe injury and on first examination doctors gave her only 20 per cent chances for survival, he claimed.
"It was perplexing that the woman did not show any improvement despite all available treatment in the last one year and ultimately the possibility of stemcell therapy was considered after discussions with her family and it proved successful," Chief Neurosurgeon said.
"This is an eye opener that there is a possibility of reactivating brain cells following injury with very gratifying clinical results. To our knowledge such attempts were made only in China. This is the first attempt in the country and India is the second country in the world to use such therapy," he said.
"The procedure is totally simple and cheap. Unlike other techniques, it requires no foreign human or animal products, only the patient's own serum, and is completely non-invasive.
"The operation is relatively non-invasive. The patient merely comes into the hospital for a couple of hours to have their eye prepared and the lens put in place, and then they're able to go home.
"There's no suturing, there is no major operation: all that's involved is harvesting a minute amount -- less than a millimetre -- of tissue from the ocular surface.
"If you're going to be treating these sorts of diseases in third world countries all you need is the surgeon and a lab for cell culture. You don’t need any fancy equipment," said study's lead author Nick Di Girolamo.