Major Israeli Medical Breakthrough

In my email “inbox” today, I discovered great news delivered in a promotional piece sent by the Jewish Telegraphic Agency for — Israel has accomplished yet another medical breakthrough in science, discovering a new treatment where 87% of participants in a clinical trial between June 2011 and October 2014 at Hadassah Medical Center in Jerusalem improved respiratory or motor functioning in their bodies from the ravages of Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS; also known as “Lou Gehrig’s Disease”) or a lessening of the progression of the disease.

This is an incredible achievement in terms of the highly successful rate of impact these results have had upon these patients. Patients’ own bone marrow stem cells were used in an Israeli/U.S. biotech company-developed infusion directly injected into the spinal cord fluid (tested against intramuscular injection) in order to induce neurotrophic factors to extend the survival of motor neurons. Both the stem cell protocol and the injection site are world firsts for these methodologies and discoveries.

It’s unfortunate that these advances came too late to help individuals, such as my cousin, who lost his life to this disease. It’s even more unfortunate that worldwide divestment and sanctions on Israel would deprive the rest of the world of such life-saving measures contributed to humanity by the people of Israel.

Information in the article above, discovered initially via a Hadassah promotional advertisement broadcast via email through Jewish Telegraphic Agency, January 26, 2016, was further sourced at its original site: (then scroll to the article):

Journal of American Medical Association/JAMA Neurology, January 11, 2016. Original Investigation. Safety and Clinical Effects of Mesenchymal Stem Cells Secreting Neurotrophic Factor Transplantation in Patients with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis: Results of Phase 1/2 and 2a Clinical Trials. Panayiota Petrou, MD; Yael Gothelf, PhD; Zohar Argov, MD; Mark Gotkine, MD; Yossef S. Levy, PhD; Ibrahim Kassis, PhD; Adi Vaknin-Dembinsky, MD; Tamir Ben-Hur, MD; Daniel Offen, PhD; Oded Abramsky, MD; Eldad Melamed, MD; Dimitrios Karussis, MD, PhD.

Information for the rest of the article below was sourced via

Hadassah was formed in 1912 by Henrietta Szold and is a volunteer women’s organization founded to train nurses for Israel, in what was still called “Palestine” during the Turkish Ottoman Empire, and to improve the public health of all Israel’s citizens.

Hadassah treated wounded people of both sides, Jews and Arabs, during the Arab riots of 1920. It joined forces in 1926 in partnering with the Jewish National Fund (an organization created in 1901 dealing with development  and infrastructure of Israel’s land). Hadassah’s business model involves funding and development to create structures and projects, which are run successfully until they are turned over to Israel’s government and municipalities. Many of these have been funded by American Hebrew school students and other financers.

In 1933, the Berlin branch of Youth Aliyah from Hadassah began to resettle Jewish children to Palestine, to get them out of Germany, which was beginning to turn against the Jews.

Construction on the Hadassah site at Mount Scopus in Jerusalem is begun in 1934 and reaches completion in 1936, praised by Britain in its 1937 Peel Commission report for providing services to all communities, including Arab.

Their fundraising efforts during World War Two included raising $200 million dollars worth of U.S. government defense bonds.

Beginning on April 13th, 1948 and lasting for hours, seventy-eight Jews in their convoy to get supplies to Hadassah in Jerusalem were ambushed by Arabs and massacred. Armored vehicles had been necessary due to violent and continual attacks by the Arabs upon the Jews. Mount Scopus, and with it Hadassah hospital and Hebrew University, are overrun and are lost to the Arabs until 1967, when Israel liberated the areas from Arab occupation.

In 1959, Hadassah extends aid to developing nations by training doctors from Africa and Asia in cooperation with the World Health Organization, and later included South African doctors.

In 1986, Israel is one of only five centers capable of performing test-tube conception.

In 1988, Hadassah helped plan, construct and open a hospital in Kinshasha, Zaire.

In response to the release of Soviet Jewry (not formerly allowed to leave the Soviet Union), for which Hadassah had advocated and organized marches, Hadassah begins to retrain the Russian immigrants.

They also help replace 100,000 Jewish National Fund (JNF) trees destroyed by arson, provide recreational facilities in Galilee, and provide over 400 eye surgeries to the blind in Kenya in 1990. They help develop programs helping the 14,500 Ethiopian immigrants who arrived in one day to Israel in “Operation Solomon”.

In 1996, they collected and delivered over 100 tons of supplies to war-torn Bosnia’s people. Medical equipment and eight tons of medical supplies are provided by Hadassah to Kosovan refugees in 1998. In 2004, Hadassah raises funds to help victims of Hurricane Charley in Florida.

Some doctors of the team in this ALS study helped improve the functioning of a lab rat with Parkinson’s disease in 2004. They led groundbreaking studies in 2008 for patients with Multiple Sclerosis (MS). Their Jerusalem Hospitals were nominated in 2005 for the Nobel Peace Prize.

Hadassah does work on every continent in the world except Antarctica.

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