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Science & Technology

Doctors cure man's paralysis in world first

By T.K. Randall
October 21, 2014 · Comment icon 18 comments

A model showing segments of the human spinal cord. Image Credit: PD - Tom Sulcer
Darek Fidyka has become the first person to walk again after having his spinal nerves completely severed.
The 38-year-old had been paralyzed from the waist down after an injury four years ago but has since regained the ability to walk with the aid of a frame and can now even drive a car.

The pioneering surgical procedure that made this possible was based on the research of scientists at the University College London's institute of neurology and was carried out by a team from Poland lead by one of the world's top spinal surgeons.
The technique involved taking nerve-supporting cells from the patient's nose and injecting them in to the areas above and below the spinal injury to provide pathways for the broken tissue to regrow.

"We believe that this procedure is the breakthrough which, as it is further developed, will result in a historic change in the currently hopeless outlook for people disabled by spinal cord injury," said Professor Geoffrey Raisman. "The patient is now able to move around the hips and on the left side he's experienced considerable recovery of the leg muscles."

"The number of patients who are completely paralysed is enormous. If we can convince the global neurosurgeon community that this works then it will develop very rapidly indeed."

Source: The Guardian | Comments (18)

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Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #9 Posted by libstaK 10 years ago
That's freaking awesome! This would help better the lives of so many people. Sadly, it'd probably be too expensive of a surgery, so I doubt many people would be able to have it done... The cost of paralysis to society is far greater than any cost of a cure. This is fantastic news, I am keeping my fingers crossed that this is the big breakthrough it is touted to be for the sake of all people disabled by paralysis suffering at this moment. I can't wait for all the good news stories that are possible.
Comment icon #10 Posted by pallidin 10 years ago
Outstanding! Best wishes for him and his additional recovery.
Comment icon #11 Posted by Whatsinausername 10 years ago
Its super news, but....nerves from the Nose ? It's nothing to sneeze at.
Comment icon #12 Posted by paperdyer 9 years ago
See? Now if we actually want to become an enlightened and advanced society then it is things like this that we should be pursuing. It is these sorts of things that we should be channeling our sciences towards, healing and not inventing new ways to kill people. Nice article. I whole heartedly agree. But how many times has something beneficial been corrupted into something harmful. There will always be at least one assh**e, or a government that will corrupt this into someway to control a person.
Comment icon #13 Posted by Andami 9 years ago
Its super news, but....nerves from the Nose ? Certain cells in the nose act like stem cells.
Comment icon #14 Posted by himalyanmystic 9 years ago
This is amazing, I hope this becomes available to every person on the planet today.
Comment icon #15 Posted by godnodog 9 years ago
A correction to the content of the news, this technique may be British or polish, but a previous successful technique was developed by Portuguese scientists and it has been used for the last 8 years. So the man in the news is not the first to recover or to walk again. Both from 2005! translated https://translate.go...t-text=&act=url http://www.cmjornal....ecuperavel.html translated https://translate.go...t-text=&act=url
Comment icon #16 Posted by godnodog 9 years ago
Both from 2005! translated translated [More]
Comment icon #17 Posted by godnodog 9 years ago
Comment icon #18 Posted by Cherry- 9 years ago
wow, this is truly amazing!

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