Spinal cord injury (SCI) remains one of the most devestating conditions in medicine, particularily due to the loss of productive life years and the high economic burden it places on our society. There are limited therapeutic options available to reduce the morbidity and mortality related to SCI. However, recent work with stem cells in repairing SCI appears to be promising, making this one of the most exciting frontiers in medicine. A brief review of the mechanisms of SCI is presented. Stem cells from a variety of sources have shown effectiveness in improving motor function after SCI in animals. The pre-clinical use of stem cells in SCI and methods of delivery are discussed. The potential use of granulocyte-colony stimulating factor (G-CSF) to increase the number of stem cells engrafting at the site of injury in order to improve neurological and motor function recovery following SCI is introduced. G-CSF, through stimulation of lymphohemopoietic stem cells in peripheral blood, can potentially cause repopulation of the SCI region with neural progenitor cells. This allows for improved functional outcomes. More pre-clinical and translational research exploring this possibility is required.
- Granulocyte-colony stimulating factor
- Ischemic stroke
- Spinal cord injury
- Stem cell therapy