New therapies with fetal cells: a ray of hope from China for ALS patients


Researches on neuro-regeneration, that is, recovery of functionalities by the central nervous system (CNS), are one of the most important fields of research in neuroscience, as they involve, among several others, different branches of neurosurgery, neurology, and even traditional Chinese medicine.

Until now, clinical resolution of any injuries or strokes to the central nervous system, and recovery of the relevant functionalities, was deemed as impossible, in spite of the constant progress of science and medicine. Therefore, patients suffering from a range of SNC diseases such as, for example, Alzheimer or Parkinson diseases, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (the so-called Lou Gehrig disease), multiple sclerosis or myelitis, or who suffered traumas such as a stroke, were resigned to living a life in a semi-vegetal state.

The Hong Tian Ji Academy of Neuroscience in Beijing, China, has recorded significant improvements in the condition of patients affected by CNS diseases such as the ones listed above and more, thanks to the transplant of human olfactory ensheathing glial cells (OEG or OEC), coming from naturally miscarried fetuses.

Cells are planted and multiplied in vitro, and transplanted on the patient through two injections into the front lobes. It is worth noting that this is not a transplant of stem cells, and the transplanted cells have a temporary lifespan.

The results and improvements are also temporary, and they are depending on physical conditions of the patient at the time of transplant, but these results show that a neuro-regeneration can be triggered, and a slight recovery of functionalities achieved, in patients with diseases previously thought incurable.

Transplant of this kind of cells paves the way to a possible cure of this kind of CNS pathologies.