A clinical trial conducted at the University of Southern California has changed the life of a paralyzed man, Kristopher Boesen of Bakerfield, who suffered spinal cord injury after a car accident, by helping him regain upper body movement. The team led by Charles Liu, MD, PhD, utilized the regenerative power of stem cells to restore sensory and motor functions that had been destroyed after Kristopher’s injury. According to an interview, Dr. Liu suggested that this trial “could significantly improve daily lives of patients with severe spinal cord injuries.” He also added that “by improving neurological function, it could mean the difference between being permanently paralyzed and being able to use one’s arms and hands.”
The regenerative power of stem cells have attracted the attention of many medical specialties. In the field of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, stem cells carry the potential to revolutionize the field from once surgery-dependent to minimally invasive biologic procedures. The Orthohealing Center was founded based on the idea that the human body has the natural power of healing. While this case report is a single individual, it reminds us the power of helping just one patient and how it can inspire others and advance science. More research is needed to better understand optimal & safe applications of cell therapies.