Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Derek Fidyka and Spinal Cord Regeneration

The following webpage and video will explain the tragic but heartwarming story of 38 year old Derek Fidyka.  Fidyka was involved in a brutal stabbing, back in 2010, which left him with a eight millimeter gap in his spinal cord.  Although he survived the stabbing it left him paralyzed from the waist down.  The University College London devised a possible treatment to return Fidyka's ability to walk.  The plan of UCL was to use cells from out nose and implant them into the area of damage in Fidyka's back.  Sounds weird I know.  These researchers are actually geniuses though, the cells they are planning to use are called olfactory ensheathing cells or OEC's for short.  The main purpose of these cells is to allow olfactory cells to regrow after being damaged.  UCL scientists took these OEC's and implanted them of the are of damage along with nerve tissue from his ankle so that the new spinal nerves cells would be able to cultivate across the gap.  It has taken two years but Derek Fidyka is walking again, of course with the assistance of a walker but none the less bipedal.  

1 comment:

  1. Seeing this video is amazing, who would've thought that a gland that helps you smell would help a person walk again. I hope through multiple trials that they can perfect this, and possibly use it in different sections of the brain. This type of regeneration is amzing and hopefully will help plenty of people with physical disabilities. Who knows, maybe they'll be able to use regenerate different parts of the brain and possibly help stroke patients as well as individuals with Alzheimer's Disease possibly