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GM-1 Ganglioside Sygen as an SCI Treatment

GM-1 (Sygen) has been written and talked about for a few years now. How effective is it as an SCI treatment?

GM-1 ganglioside (Sygen) was written up by The Associated Press a year after an article appeared in the New England Journal of Medicine.

It explained that Dr. Fred H. Geisler, M. D., Ph.D., a neurosurgeon at the Chicago Neurosurgical Center, headed a team at the University of Maryland Shock Trauma Center in Baltimore that studied 34 people with paralyzing spinal cord injuries in a placebo-controlled, double-blind, randomized study.

The study results were reported in the June 27, 1991, New England Journal of Medicine. Within three days of injury, 16 of Geisler's patients began daily injections of GM-1 for 18 to 32 days, while the rest received placebo injections.

Patients given GM-1 had improved recovery of motor functions in the arms, and later in the legs. About half of the improvement occurred at the two-month mark, showing "dramatic" improvement. Most of the improvements happened within four months of patients' receiving GM-1 injections, but some improvements continued for up to one year after GM-1 treatment.

Researchers theorize that GM-1 ganglioside (protein), naturally present in cell membranes of the spinal cord and brain, helps protect against additional nerve cell death after spinal cord injury and also stimulates nerve- fiber growth and repair.

In August, 1996 the cover of a national magazine proclaimed that "Chris Reeve Will walk Again... He took a miracle drug that cures paralysis", and referred to a "Super report from top docs".

A few details were given about how Dennis Byrd (New York Jets) and others have recovered from paralysis by taking Sygen treatments within the first 50 days of their injuries.

As for the top docs, the only docs mentioned by name in the article are Dr. Fred Geisler of the University of Maryland, Dr. John Schlegel of the University of Utah, and Dr. Judith Walker of the Walker Institute in L.A.

Reference is made to Dr. Geisler as having said "In a small pilot study. Seven of the 16 people given Sygen improved from near total paralysis to being able to walk after one year."

Sygen apparently works by improving the ability of nerves to remain alive after injury and makes surviving nerves better able to function, but has not yet been approved by the FDA.

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