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Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy (DMD) is a deadly genetic disorder, 99.9 per cent people suffering from which, die between the age of 13 to 23 years. However, in a first, a 26-year-old patient from Lucknow has survived DMD by regularly taking stem cells for the last five years.

Children, suffering from DMD, usually die of cardio-respiratory failure. But with the stem cell therapy, this patient has not lost muscle power in the last five years and heart and lung muscles and the upper half of the body are working well.

Dr B.S Rajput, the surgeon who is treating this patient, said, “DMD is a type of muscular dystrophy and being a genetic disorder, it is very difficult to treat. Autologous (from your own body) bone marrow cell transplant or stem cell therapy in such cases was started in Mumbai about 10 years back.

Dr Rajput, who was recently appointed as visiting professor at GSVM Medical College, Kanpur, said he has treated several hundred DMD patients and recently this combination protocol was published in the International Journal of Embryology and stem cell research.

The patient’s father is elated that his son has maintained well with this treatment and now has even started earning by working on computers.

According to Dr Rajput, this disease is endemic in eastern UP, especially Azamgarh, Jaunpur, Ballia and some of the adjoining districts of Bihar, and one out of every 3,500 male child, suffers from the disease.

Yet the disease is not given as much attention as it should be.

Dr Rajput, who is consultant bone cancer and stem cell transplant surgeon from Mumbai, said though patients in Uttar Pradesh and Bihar get financial support from the Chief Minister’s Relief Funds, the treatment of autologous bone marrow cell transplant is not included in the package list of Ayushman Bharat scheme, which deprives many from getting the treatment.

The doctor further informed that efforts are being made to establish the department of regenerative medicine in the medical college, where bone marrow cell transplant and stem cell therapy would be done even for other intractable problems like spinal cord injury, arthritis knee and motor neurone disease.

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