Source Il Messaggero
Matilde Leonardi, director of the Coma Research Center of the Besta Neurological Institute in Milan and a member of the Italian Society of Neurology, wants to be immediately clear. “The news about the former pilot is only fueling false hopes and deluding patients’ families.”
Why is she so convinced that this therapy does not exist?
«Because there is no published scientific data that demonstrates the existence and effectiveness of this alleged treatment. There is no trace of this protocol nor of a similar experiment on patients in a state of minimum consciousness “.
Isn’t it possible that French doctors are secretly working on some treatment?
“Unlikely. Because science doesn’t work that way. We do not work in secret, we share information. Science is made of verifiable and replicable data “.
Could we be facing a new Stamina case?
“I do not think so. At the moment none of the French doctors declared that he had a cure for Schumacher or for those who are in the same condition as him. The Stamina case has marked us a lot, Vannoni did not want to publish his protocol and I received people who sold the house to be able to afford that treatment. Now the news that is circulating about Schumacher is unfortunately deluding many sick and family members “.
What do you mean?
«Only yesterday morning I received two phone calls from the relatives of two patients who wanted information to allow their children access to the same treatment as the former pilot. I found myself explaining that we know nothing about the existence of this treatment. When similar news is disseminated, there is the risk of deceiving the sick and their loved ones. It is the responsibility of the doctors, but also of the press to prevent this from happening “.
Yesterday, the French newspapers wrote that Schumacher has his eyes open and is he conscious?
“In reality, from what we know no one has ever said the opposite. There is confusion between the vegetative state and the state of minimum consciousness. Patients in Schumacher’s condition open their eyes, they can turn their head when you call them, they can move their thumbs in response to a question and they can cry at the end of a story ».
In your opinion, why don’t your French colleagues openly declare that there is no mysterious cure?
“I can’t know why. It is possible that they are maintaining the confidentiality required by the Schumacher family ».
Are there any hopes that stem cell treatment will help these patients in the future?
“We all hope so, but the truth is that it does not exist, at least for the moment. Unfortunately, studies conducted with stem cells for diseases that affect the brain and marrow have not given the hoped for effects “.
So aren’t there positive prospects for Schumacher’s future and patients like him?
“I didn’t say that, absolutely. The research goes on and on several fronts. But we cannot give illusions. It is very rare but in some cases these patients are able to re-emerge from their size. There are documented cases. I remember a patient who, after 4 years spent in a state of minimum consciousness, suddenly responded with a laugh to a joke made by his wife and then started talking to her »