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Open Access Effects of Hematopoietic Autologous Stem Cell Transplantation to the Chronically Injured Human Spinal Cord Evaluated by Motor and Somatosensory Evoked Potentials Methods

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International standards for stem cell treatment of neurological disorders have not yet been established. In particular, specific quantitative methods have not yet been adopted to assess the effectiveness of stem cell treatment. The aim of this study is to evaluate the functional changes detectable by conventional neurophysiologic methods in an injured spinal cord during stem cell therapy. Twenty adult patients with chronic spinal cord injury at C4‐C8 level were examined by somatosensory evoked potentials (SEPs) and motor evoked potentials (MEPs) methods, the first time prior to the treatment and then regularly during its course (1‐4 years). The treatment consisted of repeated intrathecal transplantations of autologous hematopoietic stem cells. After at least 1 year of treatment, four effects were detected: 1) restoration of the initially absent short-latency SEP (three patients); 2. N20P23 interpeak amplitude increase in SEP elicited by median nerve stimulation (four patients); 3) P38 latency reduction in SEP elicited by tibial nerve stimulation (two patients); 4) appearance of MEP (three patients). The nonidentical effects of stem cell transplantation in different patients presumably reflect the variety of the regeneration processes in different pathways of the spinal cord, depending on the extent and nature of lesion of the spinal cord pathways in different patients. The local effects of stem cell treatment at the cervical level were evaluated by median SEP and wrist muscle MEP demonstrate the ability of stem cells to spread within the spinal cord at least from lumbar to the cervical level, home there, and participate in the neurorestoration processes.

Keywords: Hematopoietic stem cell; Motor evoked potential (MEP); Neurorestoration; Somatosensory evoked potential (SEP); Spinal cord injury (SCI)

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: NeuroVita Clinic of Interventional and Restorative Neurology and Therapy, Moscow, Russia

Publication date: April 1, 2012

More about this publication?
  • Cell Transplantation publishes original, peer-reviewed research and review articles on the subject of cell transplantation and its application to human diseases. To ensure high-quality contributions from all areas of transplantation, separate section editors and editorial boards have been established. Articles deal with a wide range of topics including physiological, medical, preclinical, tissue engineering, and device-oriented aspects of transplantation of nervous system, endocrine, growth factor-secreting, bone marrow, epithelial, endothelial, and genetically engineered cells, among others. Basic clinical studies and immunological research papers are also featured. To provide complete coverage of this revolutionary field, Cell Transplantation will report on relevant technological advances, and ethical and regulatory considerations of cell transplants. Cell Transplantation is now an Open Access journal starting with volume 18 in 2009, and therefore there will be an inexpensive publication charge, which is dependent on the number of pages, in addition to the charge for color figures. This will allow work to be disseminated to a wider audience and also entitle the corresponding author to a free PDF, as well as prepublication of an unedited version of the manuscript.

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