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Thread: USe of Stem Cells

  1. I'm from the south and sometimes I have a big mouth
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    #1

    USe of Stem Cells

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    This morning this story was on the Today Show.

    http://today.msnbc.msn.com/id/23572206/

    Amazing recovery attributed to cord blood
    Toddler diagnosed with cerebral palsy shows remarkable improvement
    Video


    Baby gets stem cell treatment
    March 11: NBC’s Michael Okwu reports on one little boy who’s made a dramatic recovery from his diagnosis of cerebral palsy thanks to some cutting-edge treatment.
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    By Bob Considine
    TODAYShow.com contributor
    updated 31 minutes ago
    Dallas Hextell was already a miracle to parents Cynthia and Derak, after they spent three years trying to get pregnant.

    But now he is looking like a medical miracle to the rest of the world.

    The 2-year-old son of a Sacramento, Calif., couple was diagnosed with cerebral palsy, but is now showing fewer signs of the disorder and marked improvement after an infusion of his own stem cells — made possible by the preservation of his own cord blood shortly before birth.

    Story continues below ↓
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    Derak Hextell now believes his son will be cured of the incurable malady.

    “[Dallas’ doctors] said by the age of seven, there may be no signs of cerebral palsy at all,” Hextell told TODAY co-host Meredith Vieira while holding a curious Dallas on his lap. “So he’s on his way, as far as we’re concerned.”

    For Cynthia Hextell, the changes in Dallas just five days after the intravenous infusion of his cord blood cells are not coincidental.

    “[He’s changed] almost in every way you can imagine, just from five days afterwards saying ‘Mamma’ and waving,” she said. “We just feel like right now he really connects with you.

    “It just seemed like a fog was over him before, like he just really wasn’t there. There was kind of like a glaze in his eyes. Now as you can see, you can’t get anything past him.”

    A difficult start
    The joy of Dallas’ birth in 2006 was met with gradual heartbreak as he was unable to feed from his mother. He was constantly crying and rarely opened his eyes. At five months, Dallas had trouble balancing himself and his head was often cocked to one side.

    The Hextells switched pediatricians when Dallas was eight months and the baby was diagnosed with cerebral palsy — a group of non-progressive disorders that affect a person’s ability to move and to maintain balance and posture.

    Various studies show that the damage to the motor control centers of the young developing brain which causes CP occurs during pregnancy, although there are smaller percentages of the disorder occurring during the childbirth and after birth through the age of three.

    “I think it’s important to remind people that cerebral palsy has to do with the motor part of the brain and usually kids don’t deteriorate,” said Dr. Nancy Snyderman, NBC News Chief Medical Editor. “But they have significant motor problems, which explains why he wasn’t a good sucker when he was breastfeeding as a baby and all of this colicky stuff that sort of confused the diagnosis.”

    There is no known cure for cerebral palsy. And the treatments to help manage its debilitating effects make it the second-most expensive developmental disability to manage over a person’s lifetime, behind mental disabilities.

    At 18 months, Dallas had very limited motor skills. He could not crawl, clap or sit up and he communicated only through screaming brought on mostly by pain and frustration.

    Life-changing decision
    During her pregnancy, Cynthia Hextell had done thorough Web research on health issues relating to childbirth and came across a pop-up ad for Cord Blood Registry, the world’s largest family cord blood stem cell bank. The San Bruno, Calf.-based company has preserved cord blood stem cells for more than 200,000 newborns throughout the world.

    Hextell said the cost of saving Dallas’ cord blood — about $12,000 and not covered by insurance — was off-putting. But she ultimately registered for CBR, thinking she would rather put up the money and not use it rather than have saved it and regretted it later.

    “We had a perfectly healthy pregnancy, but it did take us three years to get pregnant,” Cynthia Hextell told Vieira. “It was a good chance he was going to be our only child, so that was one thing that if we were going to do it, this was our only chance.

    “Heart disease ran in [Derek Hextell’s] family. I was adopted, so I knew if we ever needed something, Dallas and I were the only ones [who could provide a genetic match]. So those were things [we considered], but nothing like I thought something was going to be wrong with my child. Literally, it took us until about two weeks before our due date to make the final decision because it is expensive.”

    After Dallas was diagnosed, the Hextells traveled to Duke University, where doctors were using cord blood to treat a small number of children that had cerebral palsy or brain damage as part of a clinical trial. Mrs. Hextell would call some of the parents of the children and all of them reported tangible improvement in their children following the transplant of stem cells, evidenced in better speech and motor skills.

    So the Hextells agreed to infuse Dallas’ own stem cells back into his bloodstream last July, a procedure that took less than an hour.

    Within five days, a different child emerged — laughing, clapping, waving and reacting.

    “We think [the transfusion] has a real big part to do it because it was such a drastic change within five days of the procedure taking place,” Derak Hextell said. “It had to be because he wasn’t reaching the milestones that he’s reaching now. He was falling further and further behind.”

    “Before he went to Duke, we were trying to teach him to use a walker,” Cynthia Hextell said. “Now he walks with no assistance at all.”

    Saving the cells
    Although Dallas’ case was not part of a controlled case study, Snyderman said it should not be overlooked in the progressing studies of stem cell treatments.


    More stories about cord blood and stem cells
    Menstrual blood tapped as source of stem cells
    Researchers customize stem cell lines
    U.S. to create national cord blood bank



    “I think the thing that medicine has not done very well as we haven’t made a big enough deal about anecdotes,” she said. “This is not a controlled case study. It’s not a randomized clinical trial. But it is a child with a diagnosis who got a transfusion of stem cells and not only stopped the deterioration of his problems, [but] he’s doing better.

    “So I take it very seriously. And I think it’s an extraordinary reminder that cord blood, that stuff that is thrown away with the placenta in the emergency room as sort of medical waste, can have extraordinary applications. We’re all offered it in the delivery room. “

    Snyderman didn’t have to convince one person about the promise of those stem cells.

    Said Cynthia Hextell: “They’re like gold.”



    Thoughts?

    I think it's awesome. There are days I wish I didn't have CP. Like this morning when I tripped and fell in the rain and busted my ass.
  2. ahimsa
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    Stem cells are the most promising development in medicine since the discovery of penicillin. It's very sad that although it could save so many lives and cure so many illnesses people oppose it so much. It's unfortunate too, that the saving of the cord costs SO MUCH money. You have to pay rent on those things for life.
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  3. Darkly Dreaming Dexter
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    #3
    This is a tidbit I remembered from years back: they found that they can get these same cells from your kid's lost teeth - There's an organization out there that accepts these teeth towards research if you put them in milk imediately after they fall out and send them in.


    That being said - I think people who are against such things because "it's destroying a human life" need to LEARN about the actual process of having a baby.

    A cluster of cells growing and multiplying in a petry dish DO NOT mean that those cells will turn into a child - it takes more than just cell growth to ensure that life will happen - and even when you have all the right pieces in al the right places it still doesn't ensure that a child will be born.
  4. ahimsa
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    #4
    Quote Originally Posted by Aunt Sponge View Post
    That being said - I think people who are against such things because "it's destroying a human life" need to LEARN about the actual process of having a baby.
    Yeah and also they need to start realizing that millions of ACTUAL REAL persons are suffering from the diseases that stem cells could cure. It always amazes me how turned off people are to actual human suffering while being concerned instead with the lives of "cells" that don't have lungs and hearts and brains...?

    I personally believe the suffering of a human child that is already born should take priority in that moral quandry...
    It's Halloween so.... you know, BOO!
  5. *Mrs. Bonney*
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    We banked both girls cord blood. Im VERY for it and tell every pregnant woman I know to invest in it. It is expensive at first but they can work out payment plans. For both girls we paid 150 a month for the first year of thier life, then we pay 150 on the month of their birth until they are 18.
  6. MilitarySOS Jewel
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    #6
    Quote Originally Posted by vivalacrap View Post
    Stem cells are the most promising development in medicine since the discovery of penicillin. It's very sad that although it could save so many lives and cure so many illnesses people oppose it so much. It's unfortunate too, that the saving of the cord costs SO MUCH money. You have to pay rent on those things for life.
    I so agree with this 100%
  7. IYAOYAS
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    #7
    Quote Originally Posted by vivalacrap View Post
    Stem cells are the most promising development in medicine since the discovery of penicillin. It's very sad that although it could save so many lives and cure so many illnesses people oppose it so much. It's unfortunate too, that the saving of the cord costs SO MUCH money. You have to pay rent on those things for life.

    As a diabetic I am very much for stem cells. I also do not feel it should cost as much as it should or be opposed as much as it is.
  8. Darkly Dreaming Dexter
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    #8
    Quote Originally Posted by vivalacrap View Post
    Yeah and also they need to start realizing that millions of ACTUAL REAL persons are suffering from the diseases that stem cells could cure. It always amazes me how turned off people are to actual human suffering while being concerned instead with the lives of "cells" that don't have lungs and hearts and brains...?

    I personally believe the suffering of a human child that is already born should take priority in that moral quandry...
    Exactly!
    This research saves thousands - What do the people against say when faced with the fact that children and teens will suffer and possibly die without a cure for their disease because they have this "moral" delima?
  9. and still I think of you
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    I think it is great and i do not understand why so many people are against it
  10. Senior Member
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    #10
    Quote Originally Posted by Traci View Post

    As a diabetic I am very much for stem cells. I also do not feel it should cost as much as it should or be opposed as much as it is.

    I agree 100%. As a Type 1 Diabetic, I am very supportive of the use of stem cells. It could very possibly cure our illness. How could one stricken with any illness be opposed to that? Or anyone who knows a person who suffers from an illness.
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