Spinal Cord Injury - Novastem

Spinal Cord Injury

How do stem cells allow regenerative mechanisms to thrive?

Spinal cord injury (SCI) appears as a result of a traumatic event or by presence of a mass that could cause pressure or lesion to the spinal cord. Normally, our spine is made up from bony structures piled together called vertebrae, which has a hollow part in which the spinal cord goes through all the way from the base of the skull down to the sacrum.

According to the WHO, there are no reliable global prevalence, but it is estimated that incidence ranges from 40 to 80 cases per million inhabitants. Up to 90% of these cases are due to traumatic causes, although the proportion of spinal lesions of non-traumatic origin seems to be increasing.

Traumatic injuries of the spine usually appear due to a sudden blow or a cut in the spine and tend to cause permanent loss of strength, sensitivity and mobility below the site of the injury.

When dealing with a "complete" lesion of the spinal cord, no motor or sensory function is preserved. Whereas with an "incomplete" spinal cord injury, there is sensory preservation but no motor function is conserved below the neurological level.


  • Pain
  • Numbness, tingling or loss of sensation
  • Weakness
  • Dizziness
  • Confusion
  • Loss of muscle function (paralysis)
  • Difficulty breathing.
  • Loss of sphincter control
  • Sexual dysfunction
  • Spasticity (spasms)

Spinal cord injuries can be caused by: Trauma:

  • Falls
  • Disc rupture
  • Car crash
  • Dizziness
  • Projectile weapon wound


  • Poliomielitis
  • Spina Bifida
  • Primary tumors or metastasis
  • Ataxia Friedreich
  • Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis
  • multiple sclerosis

NSCs are multipotent cells capable of self-renewing and giving rise to cells of the nervous system, including neurons, astrocytes, and oligodendrocytes. These are considered to be cellular remnants of the neuroectoderm of the early embryonic period and are present in the embryonic, fetal and adult nervous system, where they have been able to attribute a special role in the adaptive mechanisms of the cellular and tissue plasticity of the global process. neuronal plasticity.

NSCs are self-regenerating and multipotent cells with the ability to differentiate into different cell lines, the mechanism by which these cells promote functional recovery in the spinal cord has not yet been elucidated. There is evidence that NSCs can be immunosuppressive, which would cause a decrease in the inflammatory response (central pillar of the pathophysiologic mechanism of the extension of the LM) as well as acting on the reactivity of astrocytes and microglia / macrophages decreasing the proinflammatory response of these cells.

It has been demonstrated that mesenchymal stem cells (MSC), a different stem cell lineage, promote anti-proliferative, anti-inflammatory and anti-apoptotic responses that have been especially useful in the experimental treatment of autoimmune encephalomyelitis, cerebral ischemia and LM in animal models.


After the medical team evaluates your imaging studies (x-ray and/or MRI) they can determine if you qualify for what we call a combined therapy. This therapy includes two applications; an intrathecal application of neural stem cells (NSCs) and an intravenous application of mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs). The patient is required to stay overnight in the clinic with a companion during the first days that they receive the NSCs as well as during the next morning of receiving MSCs. At all times, patients are monitored by our medical team and accompanied by a patient coordinator to assist family members in any special need or request.