Nation Current Affairs 11 Feb 2016 Stem cells to help n ...

Stem cells to help neuro treatments in Kochi

DECCAN CHRONICLE. | DECCAN CHRONICLE
Published Feb 11, 2016, 5:09 am IST
Updated Feb 11, 2016, 5:09 am IST
Dr. Alok Sharma shares a light moment with five year old Ayaan Shafi, a cerebral palsy patient, and his mother Samrin Shafi in Kochi on Wednesday.(Photo — DC)
 Dr. Alok Sharma shares a light moment with five year old Ayaan Shafi, a cerebral palsy patient, and his mother Samrin Shafi in Kochi on Wednesday.(Photo — DC)

Kochi: There is now hope for patients with spine and brain disorders to lead almost a  normal life. An innovative treatment called ‘autologous bone marrow stem cells therapy’  has changed the life of  Ayaan Shafi, 5, from Kochi, who was born with cerebral palsy and autistic features.  The therapy has helped the boy, who was not able to walk, talk and recognize, to regain his abilities to a great extent. Now, the child can walk with support, speak and recognize family members and understand three languages.

Dr. Alok Sharma, president of Stem Cell Society of India and director of Neurogen Brain and Spine Institute, Mumbai, where the therapy is performed, said it was a simple and safe procedure.  Stem cells are taken from the patient’s bone marrow using a needle and these will be processed outside and injected back in the spinal fluid.  “Since the cells are taken from the patient’s own body, there is no rejection and  no side effects which makes it a safe procedure,”  he said.

Samrin Shafi,  Ayaan’s mother,  after trying several therapies, approached Dr. Sharma who performed  the stem cell therapy  in 2013. “Now, after two years, there has been notable improvement in his speech, posture and recognition. In my experience, the therapy is very effective,” Ms Shafi said. “The therapy, with an average cost of Rs 2 lakh, is more effective in children under the age of 10,” Dr Sharma added.

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