What took place this past month at Hadassah Hospital’s Department of Neurology was not expected even by the most senior neurologists.
BrainStorm is a biotechnology company developing innovative adult stem cell therapies for highly debilitating neurodegenerative disorders such as Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease), Multiple Sclerosis (MS) and Parkinson’s disease (PD). An ALS patient- a chronic disease with no known cure that causes a slow and painful process of muscular degeneration – who was wheelchair-bound and had difficulty speaking and breathing, underwent a complete turnaround. From being handicapped and dependent on others for his most basic daily needs, suddenly Rabbi Rafoel Shmuelevitz stood on his feet, and returned to teaching at the flagship Mir Yeshiva, which he heads. Rabbi Rafoel Shmuelevitz recalls, “I couldn’t talk. It was difficult for me to breathe, and my lack of balance made it impossible to get up from my wheelchair. Even when they supported me I was able to walk only with difficulty. My students couldn’t understand me when I spoke.”… The treatment that is responsible, it appears, for the dramatic improvement in his condition was developed by the Israeli biotechnology company Brainstorm, and is based on stem cells. This is the first time that someone who has been treated with stem cells has regained abilities which were previously lost.