NOT the FIRST!
This is the sort of article which makes me crazy because on the one hand, it is a triumph! A mainstream coverage of a stem cell success, increasing awareness and helping to erode our entrenched concepts of what can be done with medicine and what is and isn’t really “incurable.”
On the other….it grossly misrepresents the long history of stem cell successes versus spinal cord injury. It devalues the patients who have recovered, the loved ones who supported them during their treatments and the doctors who worked their butts off developing the protocols and pushing the envelops, often in the face of massive popular skepticism.
These people, these patients and loved ones and doctors who risked everything; life, limb, money, time and more…they are the mavericks, the trail blazers, the ones who sacrificed everything for the one pure goal of advancing medicine, of advancing healing. They deserve to be honored and credited with their barrier breaking work, not dismissed in some ill conceived misinformation campaign, weakly relying upon the un-sturdy columns of anti-Piaget-ian Object Permanence.
And no mention of Spinal Cord Injury and Stem Cell Treatment should be made without a HUGE nod to the God-Fathers, Prof Mackay-Sim and Dr Carlos Lima.
Dr Mackay-Sim was researching olfactoric mucosal stem cell applications for spinal cord injury in murine models as far back as 2001:
- Lu, J.; Feron, F.; Ho, S. H.; Mackay-Sim, A.; Waite, P. M. E. Transplantation of nasal olfactory tissue promotes partial recovery in paraplegic adult rats. Brain Research 2001, 889, 344-357.
- Lu, J.; Feron, F.; Mackay-Sim, A.; Waite, P. M. E. Olfactory ensheathing cells promote locomotor recovery after delayed transplantation into transected spinal cord. Brain 2002, 125, 14-21.
Dr Lima was “improving” and “recovering” Spinal Cord Injury patients with stem cells derived from their own noses as far back as…wait for it…2003.
“Olfactory stem cells have been shown to be most versatile. Indeed, Adult stem cells from the nose have now helped paraplegic patients walk. From the primary source, Carlos Lima et al., Olfactory mucosal autografts and rehabilitation for chronic traumatic spinal cord injury, Neurorehabil Neural Repair 24(1):10–22 | doi: 10.1177/1545968309347685.”
“Of the 13 patients assessed by functional studies, 1 paraplegic patient (patient 9) can ambulate with 2 crutches and knee braces with no physical assistance and 10 other patients can ambulate with walkers with or without braces with physical assistance.
One tetraplegic [paralyzed in both arms and legs] patient (patient 13) ambulates with a walker, without knee braces or physical assistance.”
Why haven’t you heard of this? I don’t know. Perhaps you missed the “Testimony of Ms. Laura Dominguez, delivered at a hearing held by the United States Senate Subcommittee on Science, Technology, and Space on July 14, 2004. Accessed at: http://commerce.senate.gov/hearings/testimony.cfm?id=1268andwit_id=3673”
If that doesn’t work, go here and skip ahead to 1 hour, 16 minutes to 2hrs 21min: https://www.c-span.org/video/?182693-1/stem-cell-research-treatment
Laura Dominguez, also featured in the article here, was treated in 2004. By then,
Dr “Lima’s procedure had proven successful in 26 patients, states Dr. Jean D. Peduzzi-Nelson, a co-researcher at the University of Alabama in Birmingham.  Dominguez was the tenth person in the world and the second American to undergo the surgery.
Completion of the surgery permitted a return to the United States, which ushered in the continuation of the therapeutic process and the resumption of home life in San Antonio. After an MRI was conducted, physicians informed her that her spinal cord had begun healing and that 70 percent of the lesion had recovered into normal spinal tissue. Within six months she had acquired sensation down to the abdominal region. By 2004, she had gained upper body agility and the ability to stand for extended periods of time with the aid of a walker. In addition, she reported improved motor skills, including the ability to stand on her toes and contract her quadriceps and hamstring muscles. She also announced that she had walked more than 1400 feet with the use of braces and outside help. Laura is inspired by the results and hopes to walk unassisted by the time she turns 21. 
Not first. Missed it by just a baker’s dozen of years.
Here are just a small selection of more stem cell heroes from the past:
SPINAL CORD SUCCESSES
MORE SPINAL CORD SUCCESSES
STEM CELLS FOR SPINAL CORD
16 YEAR OLD PARALYZED KARTING CHAMP
PARALYZED WOMAN WALKS ON 21ST BIRTHDAY
QUEST TO CURE HIS DAUGHTER
PARALYSIS IN RATS REVERSED
ADULT STEM CELL PROGRAMS
IMPROVED QUALITY OF LIFE FOR THE PARALYZED
A PERSONAL NOTE
FUNDRAISING FOR SPINAL CORD/STEM CELL THERAPY
STEM CELLS HELP 52 SPINAL CORD INJURY PATIENTS
PARALYZED LAWMAKER MAKES STEM CELL DECISION
JAPAN AHEAD OF USA IN STEM CELLS FOR SCI
CHINA AHEAD OF USA FOR STEM CELL TREATMENTS/SCI
WHY DO WE PRETEND STEM CELLS DON’T WORK?
IRAN AHEAD OF USA IN STEM CELLS
TODDLER, CANCER, STEM CELLS, SPINAL CORD INJURY
REGENERATING THE CENTRAL NERVOUS SYSTEM https://repairstemcell.wordpress.com/2011/10/17/regenerating-the-central-nervous-system/
Stepping Towards A Paralysis Cure, A Tale Of Two Supermen Stem Cells Cure 23 Year Old Male of Paralysis – C6…-C7 injury
Paraplegic – Adult Stem Cell Success Stories – Laura Dominguez
PARALYZED COUSINS PLEASED WITH STEM CELL TREATMENT
Successful Stem Cell Treatment of Spinal Cord Injury in Dogs
Spinal Cord Injury Patient Wins…and Loses
STEM CELLS FOR SPINAL CORD INJURY
Adult Stem Cell Grafts Help Paralyzed Heal
Medical hope as paralysed dog cured by stem cell therapy
and even, Major the Roseville police dog gets stem cell treatment
Time to set the record straight. Too many have waited too long to get news which blacks out a dozen years of research and progress.