A spinal cord injury usually begins with a sudden, traumatic blow to the spine that fractures or dislocates vertebrae. The damage begins at the moment of injury when displaced bone fragments, disc material, or ligaments bruise or tear into spinal cord tissue. In India, approximately fifteen lac people live with spinal cord injury. Every year, ten thousand new cases add to this group of individuals. Majority of them (82%) are males in the age group of 16-30 years. However, this is only an estimate as there is no reliable national database. Some injuries will allow almost complete recovery. Others will result in complete paralysis.
Spinal injury is a devastating event that occurs suddenly and whose consequences range from minimal symptomatic pain to a tragic quadriplegia (total paralysis of all four limbs). The key element in management is prevention of secondary neurological damage occurring during transportation, so whenever a family physician sees a patient with suspected spinal injury the first thing to be done is immobilize the spine which is done with cervical collar and belts for thoracic and lumbar spine.
Cell therapy, in particular, stem cell implantation has become a feasible therapy for spinal cord injury. Embryonic stem cells and fetal stem cells are the forefathers of the field of stem cell therapy. However, there are ethical concerns regarding the use of embryonic and fetal stem cells.
Extraction, separation & processing of specific populations of adult stem cells in the laboratories has evolved such that they can be converted to various types of specialized cells (eg.neurons, liver cells, heart cells). Thus, adult stem cells will transcend ethical concerns, technical difficulties, and probably immunorejection.
At NeuroGen Brain and Spine Institute, adult stem cells are extracted from the bone marrow and re-injected back into the spine on the same day.
At NeuroGen Brain and Spine Institute we provide a ray of hope to people who have none and thereby increase the quality of life.