Stem Cell Breakthrough: First Paralyzed Human Treated Regains His Upper Body Movement in Remarkable World First


The thought of waking up in the hospital after an horrific car accident and realizing that you are paralyzed from the neck down must be terrifying. 




This is just what happened to Kristopher Boesen, who experienced a life-changing moment where his car span out of control on a slippy road surface, and collided into a tree and lamp post. 




Doctors warned Kris’s parents that he might never be able to function from the neck down again.


The Procedure


Kris was given the opportunity to trial a potentially life-changing procedure involving stem cells, which ‘have the capability to repair injured nervous tissue through replacement of damaged cells.' 




The experimental procedure did not guarantee any restoration to Kris’s paralysis, but to him, the risk was worth taking.

In early April, the process started. First of all, Dr. Liu injected 10 million AST-OPC1 cells directly into Kris’ cervical spinal cord. 

Dr. Liu explains that; 

Typically, spinal cord injury patients undergo surgery that stabilizes the spine but does very little to restore motor or sensory function. With this study, we are testing procedure that may improve neurological function, which could mean the difference between being permanently paralyzed and being able to use one’s arms and hands. Restoring that level of function could significantly improve the daily lives of patients with severe spinal injuries


The Results


Just 3 weeks of therapy, Kris was showing signs of a dramatic improvement. After only 2 months he could  write his name and answer the phone, operate a wheelchair and move his arms independantly.  




He had regained significant improvement in his motor functions; which are the transmissions of messages from the brain to muscle groups to create movement.

Kris recovered two spinal chord levels which made a huge difference in his movement abilities. It was the difference between minimal movement or none at all and being able to function on his own.


Kris regained the incredibly important aspect of independence.


Kris was amazed, saying; 

All I’ve wanted from the beginning was a fighting chance…But if there’s an opportunity for me to walk again, then heck yeah! I want to do anything possible to do that.


The Future

Doctors have not been able to make any promises that Kris’s condition will further improve, they can keep experimenting with stem cell research to try and improve the likelihood of it working fully on paralysis.

So far, they have made huge steps forward and will hopefully continue to do so in their quest to solve paralysis, by teaming up with ‘associate faculty based in departments across KSOM and the University to study stem cell-driven new medicine‘, Dr. Liu and his team at USC are determined to keep researching stem cells and much more!





Stem cell research is continuing to yeild many positive results and can be used in a variety of other ways than treating paralysis; from Parkinson’s and diabetes to cancer.
Stem Cell Breakthrough: First Paralyzed Human Treated Regains His Upper Body Movement in Remarkable World First Stem Cell Breakthrough: First Paralyzed Human Treated Regains His Upper Body Movement in Remarkable World First Reviewed by Admin on 15:50:00 Rating: 5
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