About Spinal Cord Injury (SCI)

The loss of sensation and motor function resulting from spinal cord injury is often associated with neuron loss and “demyelination,” where a once-healthy myelin sheath is damaged or destroyed. Myelin is a substance that surrounds and insulates axons (nerve cells’ communications fibers) and is critical to healthy functioning of the central nervous system. Without this protective myelin coating, axons are unable to properly transmit nerve impulses from the brain to areas below the level of injury, leading to the loss of neurological function.

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In myelination disorders, the deficient myelin sheath does not properly insulate the axon, so transmission of nerve impulses is impeded.

Neuron with deficient myelin

The StemCells Approach: Myelin Production to Protect Nerve Cells

When StemCells human neural stem cells are transplanted in animals, they migrate to the sites where myelin is deficient. They differentiate into oligodendrocytes, which form healthy myelin sheaths to protect axons, helping nerve cells communicate with each other. They do this by developing myelin appendages that wrap around the axons of nearby neurons to provide the insulation (myelin) needed for proper transmission of nerve impulses.

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HuCNS-SC® Cell

Oligodendrocyte forms healthy myelin sheath around axon.
Normal transmission of nerve impulses.

Learn about our SCI clinical trials…

Learn about our SCI pre‑clinical studies…

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Hope for the Future

The use of human neural stem cells as a treatment for spinal cord injury is a novel therapeutic approach that holds much promise. Our human neural stem cells have been shown in Pre-clinical studies to treat the neuron loss and myelin deterioration resulting from spinal cord trauma, and to restore lost motor function. These results suggest that the use of our human neural stem cells may be a viable treatment approach for a broad population of patients living with paralysis or impaired motor function.