Peyton Manning: Poster child for stem cell treatment

Manning is proof positive of the future of medicine Photo: Peyton Manning / Associate Press

WASHINGTON, September 6, 2013 — NFL quarterback Peyton Manning turned in a record performance yesterday against the Super Bowl champion team the Baltimore Ravens. And he may have stem cell therapy to thank.

During the 2010 and/or 2011 seasons, Manning sustained career ending neck injurys, undergoing conventional surgeries to repair neck discs pressing his spinal cord. Accordingly to widely published reports, these surgeries included having spacers and plates installed, a disc removed.

Statements made by persons treating Manning at the time indicated he would take a year to heal and he would lose flexion, extension and rotation. The prospect, it was said, of playing in the NFL again was at best, grim.

Unfortunately Manning’s surgical procedures all but failed. Conventional medical wisdom had Manning looking for a career in broadcasting, but Manning had other plans.

Manning investigated stem cell therapy only to discover America does not offer the therapy he needed. He did, however, locate a facility in Europe that performs stem cell therapy.

That therapy, based on Manning’s play in yesterday’s NFL football match up, succeeded. So why isn’t this therapy widely used in America?

If there is any institution that is known for foot dragging, it is the American Medical Association (AMA), and although the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has been a little quicker on the draw lately, it remains a slow moving beast. Both of these fraternities are involved in making stem cell therapy available to the public at large.

Stem cell therapy, or stem cell transplant, is a method of introducing new stem cells into damaged or diseased tissue to renew growth of healthy tissue. There are two types of stems cells; embryonic and adult. A stem cell itself is a blank cell capable of becoming another more differentiated cell type within the human body and replenishes other cells as a built-in system of repair and restoration.

Korean scientists publicly claim they have used stem cells to regenerate spinal cord damage and trumpet one case in particular where a woman who had not walked for 19 years can now walk in a normal fashion.  Korea has also come under fire for falsifying reports of stem cell therapy success.  

Japan, France, Germany and other nations may lag behind America in stem cell science but are far ahead in application which generates observable, empirical evidence and results on humans.

There are multiple stories from around the globe of success in making body parts anew, but America lags behind in the use of stem cells due to the typical ‘red tape’ syndrome of American medical science. While there are thousands of people with dreadful, crippling disease, scientists are still in the ‘mouse’ testing stages with the exception of bone marrow growth.

Those who live lives in wheelchairs or prone in a bed would gladly sign away their expectations of success just to have a reasonable shot at being healthy, but the morals police think for them and nix the idea.

Left to American medical science, Manning would probably be carrying a clipboard.

 

Paul Mountjoy is a Virginia based write, psychotherapist and nutritionist.


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