Stem cells taken from mouse embryos have helped paralyzed rats move again, US researchers said on Monday. The study was the best evidence so far that controversial embryonic stem cells might be used to treat people with spinal cord and other traumatic injuries, the researchers said.
“This study provides a ‘recipe’ for using stem cells to reconnect the nervous system,” said Dr Douglas Kerr of The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in a statement.
“It raises the notion that we can eventually achieve this in humans, although we have a long way to go ... We found that we needed a combination of all of the treatments in order to restore function.”
Writing in the Annals of Neurology, they said the transplanted cells, combined with the right mix of compounds, helped paralyzed rats regrow some of their nerve cells and use their hind legs.