Spinal cords repaired
Russian surgeons claim a world first after repairing broken spinal cords using stem cells taken from the patient's nose.
The Moscow team claim it is the first time anyone has been able to treat such severe spinal injuries by reconnecting spinal cord neural tissue.
The first six operations have been a "phenomenal success" they claim with all patients, who were thought paralysed for life, now making their first steps.
They are expected to get back to normal life soon, the Moscow paper Trud reports.
Until now it was believed that nerve cells of the spinal cord could not regenerate or be replaced but Prof. Dr. Andrey Brjuchowezki claims to have proved the opposite.
He took the stem cells from the patients' nasal mucous membranes, which is particularly suitable because of the many neural endings it contains, the paper said.
The cells were than artificially bred into neural tissue stem cells, which were afterwards gradually injected with bio-gel into the damaged areas, regenerating vertebra by vertebra.
"No one in the world has done this before," said Dr Brjuchowezki of the Nikolaj Blochin Scientific Oncology Centre in Moscow.
What happens when you have to blow your spine??