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Stem cell therapy for Spinal Cord Injuries


Stem Cell Treatment For Spinal Cord Injury

Spinal cord injury can be a devastating condition, causing damage or trauma to any parts of the spinal cord or nerves at the end of the spinal canal. This may bring permanent changes in the strength, sensation and other body functions below the site of the injury.

The spinal cord is generally collection of nerves travelling from bottom of the brain to other parts of the body. These nerves allow your brain to give commands to your muscles causing movements and other vital organs for proper functioning. Your back bone or spinal cord is typically made up of number of rings of bone called as "Vertebra". These vertebrae are named according to their locations. They act as a protector to spinal cord. Spinal cord is easily prone to injury either because of trauma, loss of blood supply or occurrence of tumour.

The effects of SCI depend upon the type and level of injury. The seven vertebrae in the neck are called as "Cervical Vertebrae"; an injury to which results in paralysis of all four limbs resulting in Quadriplegia (Loss of function of arms and legs). The twelve vertebrae in the chest are called as "Thoracic vertebrae". The injury to thoracic region usually affects the chest and the legs causing Paraplegia. In the lower back region there are five "Lumbar vertebrae" and five "Sacral vertebrae" which are fused, injury to them result in loss of functioning in hips, legs, bladder, bowel movements and sexual dysfunction.

With the invention of stem cell therapy it is possible to use special regenerative cells (stem cells) to repopulate areas of damage for the improvement in the ability to move ("motor outcomes") and to feel ("sensory outcomes") beyond the site of injury, thus providing aid in Spinal Cord Treatment.


Major Manifestations of Spinal Cord Injury, in patients include the following:

  • Paralysis
  • loss of control of the bladder or bowels
  • Inability to move the arms or legs
  • Unconsciousness
  • Headache
  • Pain or stiffness in the neck area
  • Signs of shock
  • Unnatural positioning of the head

Stem cells are believed to be natural transformers. Since conventional treatment options of Spinal Cord Injury are asymptomatic with limited effects, additionally the long term usage of steroidal drugs can further harm body with many side effects.

In a variety of clinical trials and data, it has been evident that stem cells can naturally regenerate lost neurons, generating new supporting cells that will re-form the insulating nerve sheath (myelin) and act as a bridge across the injury to stimulate re-growth of damaged axons. With the employment of adult autologous stem cells from your own bone marrow and adipose tissue, it is now possible to find out a permanent symptomatic solution for the same.

Stem cells are the mother cells of the body, mainly differentiating into the required types of cells upon channelizing through proper method. Research has evidently suggested that once inside the body, they can promote regeneration of lost neurons.The treatment reassures the safety of the patient.

The stem cell therapy approach mainly focuses on delivering the sufficient number of Adult Autologous Stem Cells which will travel into multiple areas of the damaged parts.

Spina Bifida is a kind of a congenital malformation, i.e. a birth defect in which an area of the spinal cord in not formed properly, leaving behind the section of the spinal cord and the spinal nerves exposed through an opening in the back. The defect is also called as the neural tube defect affecting the back bone and sometimes the spinal cord. It is associated with the three forms based on the severity of the disease.

Spina Bifida Occulta: - It is usually a symptom less form, characterized by the defect or gap with one or more of the small bones of the vertebrae of the spine. In this case, the spinal cord and nerves are usually normal and most affected individuals can live their normal life.

Stem cell therapy for Spinal Cord Malformations

Meningocele: - This is the rarest form of malformation. It comprises of the formation of cysts or membrane surrounding the spinal cord pokes through the open part of the spine. However the variable cyst can be removed by surgery.

Myelomeningocele: - This is the most severe form of the defect wherein the cyst holds the nerve root of the spinal cord or often the cord itself. In some cases there may not be any cyst but only a fully exposed portion of the spinal cord often associated with the hydrocephalus. Hydrocephalus is the condition associated with rapid collection of the cerebro-spinal fluid in brain.

Although mild form of the spina bifida is usually associated with no paralysis, can be treated with just a surgery, the severe form needs to be attended promptly generally within 24 - 48 hrs after birth. Prompt surgery is the only available treatment option to avoid nerve infection and additional damage. However, nerve damage that has already occurred cannot be reversed and limb paralysis and bladder and bowel problem usually remain. For such defects, stem cells have shown tremendous advances in the form of expression of neurons, glia and myoblasts in the defective spinal cord. They are known to induce the surrounding spinal tissue to express neurotrophic factors.

Ankylosing Spondilytis, is a kind of inflammatory, autoimmune disorder of unknown etiology primarily affecting the spine, axial skeleton and large proximal joints of the body, this may inturn lead to eventual fusion of the spine.It can rage from mild to progressively degenerating diseases.

Although autoimmune, 90% of the patients suffering from the condition have proved to express the presence of HLA-B27 geneotype, confirming the genetic association of the disorder. Estimates may vary but it is observed that young men between the age group 20-40 are affected. The characterization of AS is done various symptoms, three of them occur most generally and they are pain, stiffness,excessive fatigue etc. Although the symptoms are very generalized there are some telltale conditions such as severe back pain.

The current treatments include severe physiotherapy, medication and other rehabilitation approach. However with these treatment regimen the pathophysiology of the disease is not reversed neither the further progression is stopped. On the contrary, the cutting edge stem cell treatment can offer the solution for the condition. Stem cells are the original, naive cells capable of forming any cells of the same or different lineage.

Ankylosing Spondilytis is a kind of arthritis mainly affecting the spine, but sometimes other organs are also involved.

Mentioned below is case analysis of a patient who had been suffering from Ankylosing Spondilytis. And at a young age of 25 years, he was unable to walk. Now after stem cells treatment he has started walking and his quality of life has improved.

Case Study

Name of the patient:- Rahul (name is changed for privacy reasons)

Disease: Ankylosing Spondilytis

Rahul was suffering from Ankylosing Spondilytis since past 14 years. Painful joints, restricted movements and stiffness in the body was his way of life. Although Rahul doesn't have any family history of joint diseases.

Rahul's symptoms started with sudden onset of the back pain, which went on to be severe with the whole body aches, upto the extent that he could hardly walk or if he could, he started walking like an old man. Although the initial X ray analysis showed nothing, may be because practically it take several years to show changes associated with the spine. Consequently Rahul had to visit rheumatologists, who confirmed after almost 3 years that he is suffering from AS. His treatment regimen involved diet plan, some oral medications and restricted sports activities.

However, as per Rahul's observation, the medicines were just anti-inflammatory and turned out to be placebo's. Additionally these medicines welcomed other side effects such as swelling, bloating, headaches etc. As a result , with the progression of time, the symtoms got worsen with more tighten and sore back and other medicinal side effects. Although Rahul was very unwilling to let this chronic disease take over him, and desperately wanted some new treatment or modern medicine, which will help him to get back to the life again. With lot of research and through understanding of stem cells, he opted to be treated with stem cells under the guidance of Advancell's team.

Ever since, Rahul underwent treatment, he experienced tremendous improvement in his complications. During follow up and pain management programme, he sensed that there is no longer a stiffness, the pain was pretty bearable and he could finally get out of bed and also sometimes could go for some floor exercises.

Rahul is very positive and is thankful to the team of Advancells for all the support and services.

List of diseases treated

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Stem Cell Treatment

Stem Cell Treatment For Spinal Cord: Advancells Protocol

At Advancells we are exploiting the most potent stem cells isolated from patients own bone marrow or adipose tissue or may be both depending upon the assessment. Our top priority is to provide very comprehensive, individualized treatment pattern which is best suited for the patients undergoing treatment

Step 1- Qualification For The Treatment

A safety and efficacy assessments will be prescribed by our experts in order to investigate the stage of severity and qualify the patient for the treatment. Following pretreatment assessments can be suggested depending upon the patient's medical and family background:

Pre-Treatment Assessments

  • Infectious disease testing
  • Physical Examination
  • MRI
  • CT-scan

As per these results, the patient will be counseled further for final decision of protocol.

Step 2- Source Extraction

With the With the physician's approval and guidance, the source from which stem cells are to be collected is decided. In general patient can be prescribed, stem cells isolated from Bone Marrow or Adipose Tissue, as these are the most potent autologous sources available. However, in certain cases, both sources can be utilized for a better outcome. Doctors can also suggest stem cell stimulation therapy for some, depending upon the severity and requirement.

The specified amount of samples will be extracted from the patient's own body on the intimated date and time, with the application of local anesthesia. The entire procedure takes around 7-8 hrs, however, in case of extracted from both the sources the patient has to be with us for a little longer time.

Stem Cell Therapy for Procedure Spinal Cord Injury

Step 3- Laboratory Processing

The extracted sample, will be sent to the government approved cGMP laboratory for processing. The sample processing will be done in a state of the art class 10,000 clean room in compliance with the ISO and GMP standards.

The sample will undergo minimum manipulation in our complete automated Sepax technology to be enriched with the pure population of stem cell culture. The isolated stem cells will be characterized for quality, purity and viability.

The client will be given a third party certificate from Internationally Accredited Lab for the quality purpose.

Step 4- Stem Cell Implantation

Once stem cells are enriched and ready to be injected back into the body, we have worked on different modes of implanting them. However, depending upon the patient's physiological and mental well being, one of the following will be finalized by our experts.

Follow up Treatment

In post treatment care the patient will be asked to visit the doctors after a specific period of time, for some rehabilitation programs, including analysis of the recovery of motor, sensory and bodily function of the patients.


Spinal Cord Injury Stem Cell Treatment Results

Majority of the patients treated with us have shown marked improvement in bladder and bowel control function, improvement in muscle spasm and lesser neurogenic pain.

A total of 184 patients underwent Spinal Cord Injury treatment and out of them 162 patients returned the filled post treatment questionnaires.

56.8% of the patients reported clinical Improvements. Read More.

Patient's Stories

Kamiljon Halbayen SCI Patient Story

"20 days post Stem cell therapy, the patient had gained enough power to take steps and walk with the aid of braces and walker."

Lavinia Conopan - 31 years old

"I can now feel when I need to go to the toilet and my bladder capacity has increased."

Ransom Doyle - 52 years old

"I have been able to increase my distance walking to over 400+ meters with a cane and riding a two-wheel bicycle over a mile at a time."

Rich Welsh - 27 years old

"If you happen to have the chance of autologous stem cell treatment do not let it pass you by."

Rahul - 25 years old

"Rahul's symptoms started with sudden onset of the back pain, which went on to be severe with the whole body aches,"


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Frequently Asked Questions

  • What is a spinal cord injury?
  • Spinal Cord Injury is the result of a traumatic event causing damage to spinal cord or nerve tracts that relays signals from brain to other parts of body or body to brain. As a result one could experience temporary or permanent loss of motor function, sensory function and autonomic function. According to the National Spinal Cord Injury Association, three classes of neural tissue damage leading to paralysis have been identified: Nerve cell death within the spinal cord Disruption of nerve pathways Demyelination, or destruction of the protective insulation surrounding axons, which conduct nerve signals
  • What causes spinal cord injury?
  • The most common causes of spinal cord injury are motor accidents, serious fall, act of violence, sports injury and recreation accident, diseases such as spina bifida can also cause permanent injury to the spinal cord.
  • What is the difference between paraplegia & tetraplegia?
  • Paraplegia is a term used to describe inability to move and sense the lower part of body from the waist down, whereas the term tetraplegia or quadriplegia includes loss of motor and/or sensory function in the upper body, arms and hands.
  • My friend has the same level of injury as me but he has sensation in his legs and I don?t. Why?
  • This could be because sensory but not motor function is preserved below the neurological level and includes the sacral segments S4-S5, AND no motor function is preserved more than three levels below the motor level on either side of the body. Therefore he has sensation in his legs but loss of motor function. All this dependant on Complete or Incomplete Injury to spinal cord i.e the amount of movement and sensation that has been lost during the trauma. Understanding the extent of injury is best known indicator of what to expect in recovery of function from injury.
  • Can Spinal Cord Injury be cured?
  • The Central Nervous System is the most complex network of nerves in the body. Till date even scientists are unraveling the mysteries of brain and its network. However discovery of Stem Cells in modern science holds great promise in treating Spinal cord injuries. Stem Cell transplantation directly into the injured site leads to generation of new nerve cells resulting in possible repair of axons and transmission of nerve signals. It has also been seen that Stem Cell transplantation given within few hours of SCI can reduce the damage by releasing protective substances such as growth factors, and soaking up toxins such as free radicals, when introduced into the spinal cord shortly after injury and also preventing the spread of disease by reducing inflammation in the injured area.
  • Where can I get more information about Disease?
  • Please go through, our treatment brochures for disease related information.

What can you expect?

Many SCI patients after stem cell treatment reported to be exhibiting:

  • Improved motor function
  • Improved sensory function
  • Restored nerve function
  • Reduced inflammation in injured area
  • Improvement in circulatory system