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New hope for New Jersey residents suffering from paralysis

Those in New Jersey who are suffering from paralysis may be interested to hear about a promising new experimental treatment being overseen by doctors in another state. The hope is that the treatment will be able to reverse the results of a spinal cord injury and may ultimately be able to cure paralysis.

The treatment involves taking so-called "Schwann cells" from one part of a person's body and injecting them in or near the area of the spinal injury. Previous studies suggest that this process may induce the damaged nerve cells to repair themselves.

According to the physician supervising this initial clinical trial, who is an expert in "orthopedics and rehabilitation", the first test case went smoothly, and the project is now ready to accept more qualified participants.

Not every person who has suffered permanent disability from a spinal cord injury is eligible to participate. In order to volunteer, a person must be between the ages of 18 and 50. Furthermore, and what may prove most tricky for many, the volunteer must have been injured no more than five days before beginning his or her participation in the project.

While at least one person who suffered a spinal cord injury after being hit by a car is hopeful that the results of this experimental procedure will one day help him walk again, it will take several years before the general public would hope to see this Schwann cell treatment become generally available.

While they wait, those in New Jersey who have suffered spinal cord injuries will have to resort to the more traditional means of therapy and rehabilitation. Those who have suffered these injuries due to the negligence of others may be able to get fair compensation for their ongoing medical expenses and lost income as well as for their emotional pain and suffering.

Source: SunSentinel, "Doctors seek new subjects after first successful cell transplant," Diane C. Lade, March 14, 2013

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