According to US experts, they have successfully used a unique, therapeutic stem cell patch technology to perform surgery on unborn newborns to correct dangerous spine deformities.
Spina bifida is a birth defect in which the spinal cord and spine do not grow normally. Experts hope that the ground-breaking study at UC Davis Health may benefit others.
The first three of the trial’s infants have already been delivered.
They will be observed by the team for at least six years.
Spina bifida without treatment can occasionally result in a variety of lifetime difficulties, including trouble with movement because of nerve damage. In severe situations, the spinal canal is still visible and unprotected.
Legs may become completely paralyzed if the deformity is not repaired to safeguard it before or soon after birth.
Keyhole surgery has previously been used to close the gap between unborn children. In order to bridge the repair, the US team has since taken additional steps including installing a graft or implant.
Scientists claim that using this method on animals has already shown some really encouraging results. In order to perfect the method, they tested it on newborn lambs and on Darla and Spanky, a pair of English bulldog puppies.
The first person to have the procedure on a human was Baby Robbie.
They couldn’t turn down the lifeline, according to her mother Emily.
Before the diagnosis, we had no knowledge about spina bifida.
We are so grateful that we could participate in this. We are providing our daughter with the finest opportunity for a successful future.
The procedure proceeded smoothly: “Mother and fetus fared beautifully!”
More than a year ago, Emily can still remember the day Robbie was born.
“I was first concerned that I wouldn’t be able to see her, but they brought her right up to me. For the first time, I got to watch her toes wriggle. It felt both comforting and a little fantastical.”
About 35 infants will get treatment as part of the UC Davis team’s experiment. To evaluate how effectively the therapy functions, more research, and follow-up are required.