(MSNBC) — Researchers from the University of Munich recently reported that they were able to awaken an 82-year-old woman who’d been in a persistent vegetative state by using injections of her own immune cells.
The woman, who had suffered a stroke, had been cared for at home by her family and a home health nurse -- for nine long years.
Then her doctors proposed an experimental new treatment, offering to give the octogenarian intramuscular injections of her own immune cells, specially activated in the laboratory to produce substances thought to modulate brain activity.
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Remarkably, after starting the weekly injections, the patient began to respond to commands and even regain some movement in previously weakened limbs. She opened her eyes and turned toward people entering the room, grabbed the hands of her grandchildren (with both hands) and looked at them, and would voluntarily move her tongue when her teeth were brushed.