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As you probably know, stem cell research has been going on for quite a number of years. There have been a few successes along the way. However astounding new discoveries only just recently unveiled from Japanese researchers may completely rewrite the rules of curative medicine as it is practiced today.

Chances are you are at least somewhat familiar with how traumatic and debilitating any sort of spinal cord injury can be. Traditionally, severe spinal cord injuries are largely viewed as not treatable. Even today, in most cases the end result is a partial restoration of limited abilities at best. Yet that may very well be about to change if the Japanese findings are duplicable.

First up, take note of the fact that this research is being conducted at Hokkaido University in Japan. Here’s the exciting part. Hokkaido University researchers in conjunction with an international team of scientists successfully implanted embryonic stem cells onto the severed spines of laboratory rats. Understand that the source of these stem cells as in fact rat embryos.

These stem cells were directed so as to develop spinal cord tissue. Once implanted onto the severed spinal cord, the implanted stem cells promoted what the researchers conveyed as “extensive regeneration” of the severed nerve fibers. Later the laboratory rats with the severed spinal cords shows marked improvement in their ability to control their forelimbs.

Incredibly, the research team did the exact procedure with the exception that human neural cells with similar results. In other words, early results suggest that this method could be successful across a wide variety of species.

Although it is true that there has been some work with spinal cord injuries and the use of stem cell therapies, the fact of the matter is that success to date has been somewhat limited. One current stumbling block is that lesions to nerve fibers to date have been quite resistant to attempts at regeneration.

That being said, the new research from Hokkaido University may be the long awaited answer for solving the challenges with spinal cord injuries. Naturally you understand there is quite a bit more research that needs to be conducted. That being said, it would seem as if stem cell research may finally be able to offer a solution to one of modern medicines most arduous challenges. Not to mention the untold numbers of patients with spinal cord injuries that could benefit from this latest findings.

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