UCL News


UCL in the News: Spinal injury 'repairs' on trial

10 July 2007

Trials are to begin on the first patients as part of cell research which could help thousands of people paralysed in accidents.

If successful, the treatment could mean patients taking back control of their bodies. …

Professor Geoffrey Raisman, from the UCL Institute of Neurology, have found that cells found in the nose can be transplanted to the spinal cord to help it re-grow.

So far, tests have been on animals but Professor Raisman said they were now ready for trials with humans.

"We've got to the point where in animal models - in rats - we can get these cells from the adult," he said.

"We can transplant them into injuries of the spinal cord, of the spinal root, and the nerve fibres grow back and function returns.

"Now, what we're trying to do is to transfer this to human application," he added.

"The stage we're at we already know, and others have shown, that these cells are present in humans.

"We are trying to learn how to grow them from what is actually volunteer samples and then we hope to transplant them into a group of highly-defined injuries in 10 to 12 patients." …

Hywel Griffith, BBC News