What is Spinal Cord Injury?
Spinal Cord Injury is a severe damage to the human spinal cord into three different segments of the neural tissue leading to the severe form of motor and sensory loss. The kind of damage can be differentiated as
- Death of neurons within the spinal cord.
- Disruption of neuronal pathways due to damaged cells.
- Destruction of the protective myelin sheath carrying nerve signals from brain to different organs of the body.
In most of the reported cases of SCI, damage can be due to trauma or disease. Apart from the physical damage and complete dependency on caregivers, the SCI can be emotionally damaging as well! Due to dependency even on basic mobility, negative attitudes of being into the trauma forever and frequent mood swings can lead the people to exclude from the social participation, thus more than 30% of the reported cases of SCI showed significant signs of depression and negative impact on functional improvement of overall health.
How Prevalent is SCI?
Since SCI is associated with loss of mobility, paralysis and mortality due to other opportunistic infections, it is known as the most critical and disastrous medical condition. As per the reported cases every year around 2, 50,000 to 5, 00,000 people are suffering from the spinal cord injury. On an average, middle aged and young adult males are more susceptible to SCI mainly due to avoidable causes such as road accidents, injury, falls or violence. Mortality associated with SCI has been observed to be the highest immediately after the injury than in later years. The risk of mortality doubles up with the severity level and is observed to be strongly influenced by the immediate availability of the best medical care. Preventable secondary opportunistic infections are also reported to be a major cause of death in many of the SCI patients especially in the lower income groups.
Almost about the 90% of people in the age group of 20-45 have been reported to face other complications such as limited employment, decreased quality of life, and severe depression.
Factors responsible for SCI
In general a spinal cord injury is resultant due to the severe damage to different parts of the spinal cord such as vertebral column, ligaments or the spinal disks. This has been worldwide reported to be originated from sudden agony to the spinal cord such as fracturing, crushing or dislocating one or more vertebrae. Additional damage has as well been reported due to excessive bleeding, swelling, inflammation as well as other opportunistic infections. The most common reported causes of the Spinal Cord Injury are:
- Motor cycle road accidents or accidents without protection leading to the traumatic spinal cord injury.
- In the aged population or women with osteoporosis the SCI is often caused due to a fall.
- About 15-20% of the reported cases of spinal cord injury are as a result of violent encounters such as gun shots, knife wounds, fights, etc.
- Some of the athletes who undergo impact sports or diving, etc. have as well been reported to have been pray to SCI.
- Some of the diseases such as cancer, arthritic, osteoporosis and inflammation of spine can as well cause Spinal cord injury.
Symptoms Associated with the SCI
In general, the severities as well as the area of injury are the factors to be concerned in most of the cases of Spinal Cord Injury. On the basis of severity of injury, SCI is classified as:
- Complete SCI: – If all the sensory and motor functions are lost, the injury is referred to as complete spinal cord injury.
- Incomplete SCI:-If some degree of motor and sensory function is retained after the injury, it is referred to as incomplete spinal cord injury.
In addition to this, the extent of movement loss can be segmented into two parts such as:
- Tetraplegia: – All the limbs including arms, hands, legs, pelvic organs are paralysed by the injury.
- Paraplegia: – Part of the body is paralysed.
Apart from the one stated above some common signs and symptoms can be
- Functional loss of the movement.
- Functional loss of sensory organs such as ability to sense heat, cold and touch.
- Loss of bladder control
- Changes in sexual activity including sexual sensitivity and fertility.
- Difficulty in breathing and coughing.
Some of the emergency signs and symptoms after the injury requiring immediate medical attention include:
- Extreme pain and pressure in lower back, neck as well as head.
- Weakness, lack of coordination or paralysis in any part of the body.
- Tingling sensation especially in the lower limb region.
- Maintenance of awkward posture.
What goes wrong in Spinal Cord Injury!
The human spinal cord is a fragile bridge connecting brain with the other organs of the body. This spinal cord is encased in the protective covering of spinal vertebrae of the spinal column to prevent its damage from shock or injury. Our central nervous system i.e. brain and spinal cord is made up of millions of cells, which coordinate and communicate to pass on the information from brain to other organs of the body via spinal cord. This information is passed in the form of electrical signals which is then decoded by the specific organ.
Each neuron is made up of a cellular body with a long slender projection called as the nerve fibre. These fibres are attached to the other fibre to form a dense network of cells. In general, neurons carrying messages down the cord from brain to other organs of the body are known as Motor Neurons. These neurons control the muscles of some of the important internal organ of the body such as heart, stomach, intestine, etc. The neurons travelling up the cord to the brain are known as Sensory Neurons, carrying sensory information from skin, joints and muscles to control our ability to sense, touch and regularize temperature.
These neurons are insulated from the outer side by the coating of Oligodendrocytes and myelin sheath. These cells insulate the neuron to protect them from sudden damage and shock.
If any of the above type of cells is affected due to sudden damage such as shearing, laceration, stretching or shock, then the network of cells is disturbed due to which the passage of information from brain to the spinal cord and vice versa is halted.
How Stem Cells treatment can help!
Stem cells are the mother cells that are responsible for developing an entire human body from a tiny two celled embryo; due to their unlimited divisions and strong power to differentiate into all the cells of different lineage. This power of stem cells has been harnessed by the technology to isolate them outside the human body, concentrate in the clean environment and implant back.
Thus stem cells treatment involves administration of concentrated cells in the targeted area, wherein they can colonize in the damaged area, adapt the properties of resident stem cells and initiate some of the lost functions that have been compromised by the disease or injury.
Treatment of Spinal Cord Injury at GIOSTAR
We have mastered the technology for isolating maximum number of viable stem cells from either the autologous sources of your own body or allogeneically with the matched donor to treat various patients. We are the licensed, private organization with the excellent, well equipped state of the art facility to isolate process and enrich the viable number of stem cells, which can be re infused back into the patient’s body. Generally, these cells are administered through any one of the below mentioned methods depending upon our expert’s advice:
- Intrathecal Administration:-Through this mode, cell are infused in the cerebrospinal fluid through the subarachnoid spaces of the spinal canal.
- Intravenous Administration:- Through this mode, cells are infused through the veins along with the mannitol to expand blood volumes in the central nervous system, to ensure that the maximum number of cells are reaching to the targeted area.
Once infused back in the body, these cells can be repopulated at the damaged areas of the spinal cord, through their strong paracrine effects and differentiate into lost neurons or other damaged supporting cells to improve motor as well as sensory functions of the spinal cord.
Thus with our standardized, broad based and holistic approach, it is now possible to obtain noticeable improvements in the SCI cases, in the symptoms as well as their functional abilities.
What Sets Us Apart
- US Head quartered.
- Founder is leading stem cell scientist credited with setting up the stem cell research labs at top research institutions in US including Salk Research Institute, Sanford-Burnham Institute, UCI, UCSD.
- Medical Advisory Board comprising of luminaries from Harvard, * University of California, San Diego (UCSD), University of California Irvine (UCI), Imperial Collage, London.
- Endorsed by Honourable Prime Minister of India.
- State of the art and only private hospital in India inaugurated by Prime Minister.
- World’s largest stem cell hospital funded by government.