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Can a special scaffold heal spinal cord injuries?

In Indiana, individuals with spinal cord injuries face the challenges of permanent paralysis, which changes victims’ lives forever. However, a recent clinical trial has had some success with an innovative approach to treatment.

UC Davis Health, located in California, has developed a surgically implanted neuro-spinal scaffold and the clinical test results can provide some hope and possible promise for these patients.

Lasting impacts of spinal cord injuries

Jason Cervantes was a 16-year-old teenager when his truck rolled over him while he was underneath it, doing mechanical work. The accident left him with paralysis from the waist down due to a severe spinal cord injury.

UC Davis Health invited Cervantes to participate in a clinical trial to see if a neuro-spinal scaffold could help him heal.

Now in the second year of the trial, he does not know if he received the scaffold or if he is in the control group, but he chose to participate regardless. Cervantes wanted to participate in this new research to help others who have also suffered spinal cord injuries.

A new approach to healing

The clinical trial involves surgically placing an absorbable scaffold composed of a biopolymer material at the site of the patient’s spinal injury. This neuro-spinal scaffold is engineered to foster the repair and regeneration of the patient’s damaged spinal cord, offering a potential treatment for those affected.

UC Davis Health’s Spinal Cord Injury Clinical program has a very active spinal cord injury clinical program, which brings together neurosurgeons, researchers and clinicians. This team effort aims to develop groundbreaking spinal cord injury research and contribute to potentially life-altering treatments, fueled by a dedication to advancing hope for recovery from spinal cord injuries.

Preliminary findings show promise

Preliminary results from the clinical trial have shown that patients who received the neuro-spinal scaffold treatment experienced a slight restoration of sensation in the paralyzed areas of their bodies. This result surpassed the progress observed in individuals who did not receive the treatment.

This outcome holds profound implications for functional recovery and an enhanced quality of life for those who have experienced spinal cord injuries resulting from motor vehicle accidents or other causes.

A follow-up study 24 months after patients received the neural-spinal scaffold showed encouraging results, with some patients seeing further improvement. The procedure did not involve severe complications or unexpected outcomes for any study participants, thus underscoring this potential treatment’s safety for spinal cord injury patients.

With its innovative approach and promising preliminary findings, this clinical trial paves the way to potentially transforming the lives of those affected by spinal cord injuries.