First Paralyzed Human Treated With Stem Cells Regains Movement in His Upper Body

stem cell treatment Kristopher Boesen

Even as the research and its application remains a hot button topic in many circles, a paralyzed individual treated with stem cells has successfully regained movement in his upper body.

His name is Kristopher Boesen. He lost control of his vehicle, spiraling out of control on a slippery surface. The vehicle slammed into a lamp post and tree.

Boesen woke up in the hospital and discovered he was paralyzed. His parents had already been warned their son may never again be able to move from the neck down.

Stem Cell Research Changed His Life

As part of his treatment, Boesen was offered the unique chance to change his situation with a procedure never performed before. It involved stem cells.

He was told stem cells had the facility to repair injured nervous tissue by replacing damaged cells. His doctors could not guarantee any level of success but thought the risk was worth taking.

Meet Kris Boesen

All I’ve wanted from the beginning was a fighting chance. – Kristopher Boesen

The Procedure

Charles Liu, director of the USC Neurorestoration Center, led the surgical team, that injected an experimental does 10 million AST-OPC1 cells.

These cells originated from eggs donated and fertilized in vitro. They were applied directly to the patient’s cervical spinal cord.

Charles Liu, director of the USC Neurorestoration Center,
Photo: news.usc.edu

In general, spinal cord injuries are managed with a surgery that hopes to stabilize the spine. Unfortunately, the process doesn’t necessarily restore sensory or motor function.

The goal with the stem cell procedure was to achieve a level of function that might significantly improve severe spinal injuries and the daily lives of sufferers.

With Boesen’s treatment, the idea was to improve neurological function beyond normal expectations. It meant the difference between regaining use of the arms and hands and permanent paralysis.

The Success Story

After three weeks of rehabilitative therapy, Boesen began showing signs of improvement. Inside of eight weeks, Boesen was writing his name, answering the telephone, and operating a wheelchair.

Tests showed noticeable gains in motor function, especially in the successful transmission of messages to muscle groups from the brain that promotes movement.

Kris Boesen, CIRM spinal cord injury clinical trial patient
Kris Boesen, CIRM spinal cord injury clinical trial patient

The patient also recovered two spinal chord levels. This made an impressive difference in movement somewhere between none at all, minimal movement, and being able to completely function on his own.

In that regard, the patient showed a level of independence not usually seen in injuries as severe as his. Not surprisingly, Boesen is both stunned and ecstatic about the results.

He has said, “All I’ve wanted from the beginning was a fighting chance…But if there’s an opportunity for me to walk again, then heck yeah! I want to do anything possible to do that.

What Comes Next

While his medical team aren’t making any promises, everyone is optimistic about their patient’s current condition and chances of further improvement. The goal is to keep researching and testing stem cells to see in what ways they can be used to battle paralysis and help this patient and others like him.

This case is a demonstration of the huge advancements in solving paralysis and how continued research is imperative. Currently, Boesen’s medical team is working with the the stem cell research community looking at the viability of stem cells and how to apply them as new medical procedures.

It is believed that stem cells have the capacity to not merely help the paralyzed, but sufferers of cancer, diabetes, and Parkinson’s disease.

Click here to get more updates on Kris Boesen’s CIRM Blog.

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Comments (15)

Very Cool

Theresa Proteau Llamas

God bless you young man..Get well because there are bigger and better things waiting for you to do.

OUTSTANDING!!! What a break through!! 💖🙏💖

Will it help with Multiple Sclerosis also if so sign me up as i volenteer to be test subject for this as have MS

Outstanding, I just had DBS implantation with a generator implanted in my left clavicle to stop the “essential Tremors” that I was born with, I have a great medical team. I cannot say enough about the advancements in medical science. I am tremor free, before the surgery I could not even hold a glass let alone a fork.

I wish religion wouldn’t fight against these cures.

Where do I sign up?

I was diagnosed with cerebellar ataxia. The Drs. believe it is autoimmune related. Started with nystsagmus and vertigo and now has affected my motor skills. The vertigo is better. However, I have hand tremers when trying to hold things and it’s more difficult to write. I walk with a walker and my speech has been affected. My cognitive abilities are fine other than I get tired easier now. Do you think this may help me?

I hope the day they start on Brain Injury trials comes soon. This is amazing advancement.

I worked with patients with SCI for over 20 years. A great majority of my clients were vent dependent quadriplegic. I would have loved to have this procedure available for so many of those kids. While we could successfully wean them from the ventilator, it would have been amazing for them to regain upper extremity strength and mobility. Walking didn’t even matter, but to be able to feed themselves would have been miraculous ! Prayers for continued research !

I have/ had double brachial plexus of the upper extremities rain drain my right hand totally paralyzed how can I find out more information about this???

I just had stem cell therapy for osteoarthritis and fibromyalgia that was debilitating. The stem Cell has done wonders for me. I am in my 2nd month of recovery and am doing Very well !!! I was so glad to read this article and so happy for Kris !!

James F McClure jr

Amazing, just amazing what you have done. Can this be applied to COPD?

Hi wonderful news how can I sign my son up. He has cmt 2Z. Not sure what that even is.

They should give some to Biden!

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