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Michael Schumacher to have stem cell operation soon to 'regenerate his nervous system' years after ski accident

Italian media has reported that French Cardiologist Dr Philippe Menasche will perform seminal heart surgery on the former ace racer
UPDATED JUN 11, 2020
Michael Schumacher (Getty Images)
Michael Schumacher (Getty Images)

Michael Schumacher, who continues to battle a catastrophic head injury, is reportedly set to undergo a pathbreaking stem cell operation to "regenerate his nervous system".

Italian media has reported that French cardiologist Dr Philippe Menasche, who has purportedly operated on the Formula One racing legend previously, will now perform a seminal heart surgery on the former top seed.

The latest procedure could take place "in the next few days" according to French newspaper Le Dauphine.

Schumacher sustained a near-fatal head injury in 2013 while skiing in the resort of Meribel in the French Alps.

(Getty Images)

While he somehow managed to survive the ordeal, his condition has since been shrouded in secrecy as he's treated privately by a specialized team of dedicated doctors at his Geneva, Switzerland residence.

Dr Nicola Acciari, a top neurosurgeon, has claimed that the German is suffering from osteoporosis and muscle atrophy due to his complete lack of movement since his accident. "The goal is to regenerate Michael's nervous system," he said, according to The Sun.

Meanwhile, Dr Menasche — known as a “pioneer in stem cell surgery” — is reportedly going to perform a stem cell procedure on the former racer's heart.

While exact details of the operation are yet unknown, the Frenchman's techniques have previously been described as "mysterious".

Menasche is reportedly using the surgery to transfer stem cells from Schumacher's heart to his brain, according to Spanish outlet 20minutos.

In stem cell therapy, cells are obtained from either the patient's bone marrow or their heart and injected into other parts of the body with the aim of repairing damaged tissue in those areas.

Schumacher underwent his first stem-cell therapy in Paris in September last year.

Speaking to The Times, French journalist Jean-Michel Décugis said the therapy will have an "anti-inflammatory effect" which will mostly impact the brain.

"Our sources say that Michael Schumacher is receiving stem cell perfusions that... produce a systemic anti-inflammatory effect," he told the outlet. "That is to say they reach the whole body and you could imagine that they reach Michael Schumacher's brain."

"It's quite mysterious. Officially [Menasché] works only on the heart," he added. "He is carrying out experiments with [secretome] that is made by a laboratory from new stem cells and injected into veins, until now only on animals."

(Clive Mason/Getty Images)

According to Décugis, Schumacher is being injected with a certain protein called secretome, which is found in the human body. Menasche allegedly calls the protein "stem cell juice".

Menasche warned fans in October last year, following the first widely-reported stem cell therapy on the F1 star, that he "does not work miracles."

Meanwhile, he also pushed back against claims that he was carrying out "experiments" on the legendary racer, who won a record seven F1 world championships with Benetton and Ferrari.

"I do not perform miracles," he told Italian newspaper La Republica. "My team and I are not doing an experiment, an abominable term that is not in line with a serious medical view."

Acciari further expanded on the cutting-edge procedure on Schumacher, per The Sun.

"Over the past 20 years, science has made enormous progress with stem cell treatment," he said. "But that does not change that we still do not know much about the human brain."

"We are not able to say what the results will be," he added.