Through this therapy, bone marrow was transplanted directly into the brain. N K Venkataramana, chief neurosurgeon of BGS Hospitals, confirmed that this is the first such attempt in India and second in the world. “China made the first attempt.”
The therapy was done on Madhumalika, 27, who was admitted to BGS Global Hospitals following a road accident on December 14 last year. She suffered from `diffuse axonal brain injury’ — a severe form of brain injury where the patient remains unconscious for a variable period. The patient needs to be assisted in his or her daily activities. In her case, she remained in a coma for more than three months.
Her mother had to resign from work and her father opted for the voluntary retirement scheme to look after their only daughter. “We had no hope of getting her back after the fatal injury. Also, we were unsure of the effects of the therapy on her. But we had to take a chance,” her father said.
In the surgery done in March, four million stem cells per body weight, which were prepared at Stempeutics Research Pvt Ltd, were injected directly into her brain.
After a month of the transplant, she showed considerable improvement. She became conscious, started talking and could move her limbs. She was also able to recognize family members and friends. But the prolonged stay in bed resulted in stiffness of the joints, for which she is undergoing physiotherapy.
Venkataramana said the belief that brain injuries aren’t curable has been proved wrong. “The need to help accident victims led us to work on stem cell therapy,” he added.
“Since 2004, there has been a pressing need to help the rising number of people who were disabled following road accidents. Stem cell therapy was one of the means to face the situation,” he explained.
from The Times of India