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Insight

Paralysed man walks again

Mark Bowman
23/10/2014
A man who was paralysed from the waist down is now able to walk again after pioneering surgery. Darek Fidyka from Poland was injured in a horrifying knife attack 4 years ago and had his spinal nerves completely severed. However, the experts transplanted olfactory ensheathing cells from his nose into his spinal cord, which made it possible for the severed nerves in his spine to grow back together. He now walks with the aid of a walking frame two years after the surgery having been put on a programme of exercise for 5 days a week.

Scientists had discovered that nerve cells in the nose were in a continuous state of being damaged and repaired every time we breathe – the discovery that these cells were able to regenerate by themselves lead to the breakthrough.

Mark Bowman, Partner with Fieldfisher says; " This is very encouraging news for people who have suffered spinal cord injuries, the science in this method is still at an early stage, but it will be interesting to see how well Mr Fidyka responds to this treatment and also whether other patients respond to this surgery. Many of our clients have suffered spinal cord injuries and are left dependent on others to do basic everyday tasks and pursuits. If treatment such as this can reverse the effects of paralysis then this could be revolutionary not just for science, but for those who have had their lives shattered."

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