Zee Media Bureau
New Delhi: In a pioneering therapy, doctors in Poland, in collaboration with scientists in London, have performed cell transplantation of a paralysed man who can now walk using cells from his nose.
The 38-year-old Bulgarian man, Darek Fidyka, was paralysed from the waist down after being stabbed in 2010.
The transplant involves a procedure of transplanting olfactory ensheathing cells, where the sense of smell resides, into the patient`s spinal cord. The doctors removed one of his olfactory bulbs and transplanted his own olfactory ensheathing cells (OECs) and olfactory nerve fibroblasts (ONFs) into the damaged area along with a nerve "bridge" constructed between the two stumps of the damage spinal column.
OECs are a type of cells that reside in both the peripheral and central nervous system. Together with ONFs, they make bundles of nerve fibers that run from the nasal mucosa to the olfactory bulb where the sense of smell is located. The technique of bridging the sectional spinal cord using autologous (derived from the patient) sural nerve grafts has been used in animal studies for three decades, but never in combination with OECs, commented the doctors.
The study is due to be published in Cell Transplantation.
(With Agency inputs)