Tag: Nerve Regeneration
Permanent neurological impairments can occur after spinal cord injury (SCI) due to the failure of the spinal cord motor and sensory axons to regenerate.
This is because the mammalian central nervous system (CNS), unlike in some amphibians and reptiles, has inhibitory molecules blocking growth post-development, as well as the lack of an effective regenerative response system. Within the peripheral nervous system (PNS), there is some limited axonal recovery that can occur naturally.
Fresh insights into how Zebrafish repair their damaged nerve connections could aid the development of therapies for people with spinal cord injuries.
Scientists have found the immune system plays a key role in helping Zebrafish nerve cells to regenerate after injury.
The findings offer clues for developing treatments that could one day help people to regain movement after spinal cord injury.
Spinal cord injuries are among the most severe and difficult-to-treat medical conditions, usually resulting in permanent disability including loss of muscle function, sensation and autonomic functions. Medical research is now on the cusp of treating severe spinal cord injuries by inducing the repair of spinal nerves, and scientists have made strides in recent years with rodents and primates.
Using chitosan loaded with neurotrophin-3 (NT3), a collaborative of Chinese medical researchers now reports the successful treatment and subsequent functional recovery of rhesus monkeys with induced acute spinal cord injuries.
There is currently no cure for spinal cord injury or treatment to help nerve regeneration so therapies offering intervention are limited. People with severe spinal cord injuries can remain paralysed for life and this is often accompanied by incontinence.
A team led by Drs Liang-Fong Wong and Nicolas Granger from Bristol’s Faculty of Health Sciences has successfully transplanted genetically modified cells that secrete a treatment molecule shown to be effective at removing the scar following spinal cord damage. The scar in the damaged spinal cord typically limits recovery by blocking nerve regrowth.
Discovery could be key to treating brain and spinal cord injury
A foray into plant biology led one researcher to discover that a natural molecule can repair axons, the thread-like projections that carry electrical signals between cells. Axonal damage is the major culprit underlying disability in conditions such as spinal cord injury and stroke.
Andrew Kaplan, a PhD candidate at the Montreal Neurological Institute and Hospital of McGill University, was looking for a pharmacological approach to axon regeneration, with a focus on 14-3-3, a family of proteins with neuroprotective functions that have been under investigation in the laboratory of Dr. Alyson Fournier, professor of neurology and neurosurgery and senior author on the study.
Snakes owe their long and slithery bodies to “junk DNA,” large chunks of the reptile’s genome that scientists once thought to be useless. The gene called Oct4 may eventually help treat people with spinal injuries.
Oct4 is responsible for regulating stem cells and affects the growth of the trunk in the middle part of a vertebrate’s body.
Study researcher Rita Aires, from Portugal’s Instituto Gulbenkian de Ciencia (IGC), explained that genes involved in the formation of the trunk have to stop their activities so that the genes that are involved in tail formation can begin their work.
A newly discovered pathway leading to the regeneration of central nervous system (CNS) brain cells (neurons) in a type of roundworm (C. elegans) sheds light on the adult human nervous system’s ability to regenerate.
The findings, which appear online in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, soon may lead to treatments that enhance nerve cell regeneration in humans with spinal cord injury and paralysis.
At last week’s Science Before Supper, a lecture series about science for non-scientists at the Falmouth Public Library, Jennifer Morgan from Marine Biological Laboratory, spoke about the sea lamprey and what it can reveal about the human nervous system and the potential for regeneration after spinal cord injury.
The lamprey, an eel-like parasitic fish, has a true spinal cord, but, unlike people, when its cord is injured, the lamprey recovers.
UCLA research finds that nerve cells regrow better when glial scarring is left intact
Neuroscientists have long believed that scar tissue formed by glial cells — the cells that surround neurons in the central nervous system — impedes damaged nerve cells from regrowing after a brain or spinal cord injury. So it’s no wonder that researchers have assumed that if they could find a way to remove or counteract that scar tissue, injured neurons might spontaneously repair themselves.
A new study by UCLA scientists now shows that this assumption might have been impeding research on repairing spinal cord injuries.
Findings by UCLA-led collaboration are an early step toward potential treatments for injuries to the central nervous system
Newswise — Whether or not nerve cells are able to regrow after injury depends on their location in the body. Injured nerve cells in the peripheral nervous system, such as those in the arms and legs, can recover and regrow, at least to some extent. But nerve cells in the central nervous system — the brain and spinal cord — can’t recover at all.