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Stem Cell Therapy Helps Quadriplegic Regain Upper Body Function

Jul 30, 2019 | Texas Partners Healthcare Group

Quadriplegia is One of Many Conditions Stem Cells Help Treat

Stem cell therapy continues to offer ground-breaking solutions to a wide range of health conditions and concerns. One of the most fascinating breakthroughs we’ve seen occurred several years ago when neuroscientists discovered a way to treat a quadriplegic patient with stem cells.

Since he started the treatment, 21-year-old Kristopher Boesen recovered the functionality of this upper body in just two months. The experimental treatment Boesen underwent used stem cells harvested from the man’s body, injecting them into his damage cervical spine.

What Happened? 

On March 7, 2016, Boesen was driving his vehicle when he fishtailed on a wet road, losing control of the car before slamming into a tree and telephone pole. Unfortunately, doctors informed Boesen and his parents that there was a high chance he would be paralyzed from the neck down.

Fortunately, that wasn’t all. Doctors also said that there was a chance Boesen could qualify for a clinical study that could help him regain function. In most cases, patients with spinal cord injuries as severe as Boesen’s must undergo surgery to stabilize the spine, but this typically does not restore motor or sensory function. The idea behind the clinical trial mentioned was to improve neurological function with the help of stem cells.

We know just how powerful these incredible cells can be, so why not use them to treat quadriplegia? That was the exact thought process of the USC doctors who would go on to become the first in California to use this experimental stem cell treatment. After receiving the green light from Boesen and his parents, the surgical team at Rancho Los Amigos National Rehabilitation Center and Keck Medicine of USC injected 10 million AST-OPC1 cells into the patient’s cervical spinal cord. Incredibly, just two weeks after the procedure, Boesen started to show signs of improvement. And in three months, he was able to hold onto his cell phone, write his name, feed himself, hug his loved ones, and operate a wheelchair. Since the initial injection, Boesen continues to make improvements that benefit his overall quality of life following the accident.

How Stem Cell Therapy Can Help

The field of regenerative medicine is continuing to change how we provide medical care to patients suffering from a wide range of conditions. The more we learn, the more prepared we will be to treat conditions that had previously faced major roadblocks. As with this young quadriplegic’s case, stem cells have incredible healing powers that we are just starting to tap into.

If you would like to learn more about stem cell therapy or have questions about what regenerative is and how it works, please do not hesitate to contact Texas Partners Healthcare Group today. Stem cells are changing the way we treat various conditions, and our team at our Frisco pain management clinic is here to help you understand their role in the future of medicine.