Tag: Spinal Cord Injury Research
Although macrophages (MΦ) are known as essential players in wound healing, their contribution to recovery from spinal cord injury (SCI) is a subject of debate. The difficulties in distinguishing between different MΦ subpopulations at the lesion site have further contributed to the controversy and led to the common view of MΦ as functionally homogenous. Given the massive accumulation in the injured spinal cord of activated resident microglia, which are the native immune occupants of the central nervous system (CNS), the recruitment of additional infiltrating monocytes from the peripheral blood seems puzzling. A key question that remains is whether the infiltrating monocyte-derived MΦ contribute to repair, or represent an unavoidable detrimental response. The hypothesis of the current study is that a specific population of infiltrating monocyte-derived MΦ is functionally distinct from the inflammatory resident microglia and is essential for recovery from SCI.
WASHINGTON – A common and safe blue food dye might provide the best treatment available so far for spinal cord injuries, U.S. researchers reported on Monday.
Tests in rats showed the dye, called brilliant blue G, a close relative of the common food dye Blue no. 1, crossed into the spinal fluid and helped block inflammation, Maiken Nedergaard of the University of Rochester Medical Center and colleagues reported.
“We have no effective treatment now for patients who have an acute spinal cord injury,” Dr. Steven Goldman, who worked on the study, said in a statement.
New research in the area of regenerative medicine is coming out regularly. Here are some recent examples:
- Researchers in Toronto and Saskatchewan are looking at cells found in human skin, inside the nose and in the spinal cord as autologous sources of myelinating cells to treat multiple sclerosis.
It’s a chilling thought. In the coming year, 130,000 people worldwide will suffer spinal-cord injuries—in a car crash, perhaps, or a fall. More than 90 percent of them will endure at least partial paralysis. There is no cure. But after a decade of hype and controversy over research on embryonic stem cells—cells that could, among other things, potentially repair injured spinal cords—the world’s first clinical trial is about to begin. As early as this month, the first of 10 newly injured Americans, paralyzed from the waist down, will become participants in a study to assess the safety of a conservative, low-dose treatment. If all goes well, researchers will have taken a promising step toward a goal that once would have been considered a miracle—to help the lame walk.
The trial signals a new energy permeating the field of stem-cell research.
RHI RESEARCHERS AWARDED $240,000 FROM INDIANA SPINAL CORD AND BRAIN INJURY RESEARCH BOARD
(Indianapolis, Ind.) – Rehabilitation Hospital of Indiana announced today that two of its research projects have been awarded a total of nearly $240,000 from the Indiana Spinal Cord and Brain Injury Research Board.
Support from the Bryon Riesch Paralysis Foundation will allow a Medical College of Wisconsin faculty member to research whether neurally modified cells derived from human bone marrow can be used to repair damage caused during spinal cord injury. If effective, this approach could someday be used to help paralysis patients regain movement.
Arshak A. Alexanian, Ph.D., V.M.D., associate professor of neurosurgery, is principal investigator for the one-year, $40,000 grant. He is studying the ability of cells that have been derived from human bone marrow and modified to behave as nerve cells to promote the functional recovery of injured spinal cords. His research is conducted at the Clement J. Zablocki VA Medical Center.
Wheel to Walk Canada got a big boost earlier this month, in the form of a $2,500 donation from TD Canada Trust. The funds will support Dr. Rathbone’s Neuroscience Research Fund at McMaster University.
“We are very grateful for the support we have received from TD Canada Trust,” said Jo-Ann Cino, chair of Wheel to Walk Canada. “This gift will fund local research focused on curing neurological diseases and disorders such as spinal cord injuries, stroke, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and diabetes.
In January 2009, Geron, a biotechnology company located in Menlo Park, California, got FDA clearance to inject spinal cells derived from human embryonic stem cells into paralyzed patients.
This is the first time a stem cell based therapy will be assessed objectively — that is, as part of a clinical trial — in human beings. As early as this summer, eight to ten patients with spinal cord injury will be selected to participate.
The regeneration capacity of axons within the central nervous system, of which the spinal cord is part, has until now been much debated. Axons can regenerate toward the muscles, whereas in the opposite direction inhibiting factors prevent regrowth toward the nerve centers. The observation made by Geneviève Rougon’s team at IBDML shows that the axons also regrow in the direction of the spinal cord within a short lapse of time after the injury. Moreover, this regrowth is encouraged by post-traumatic angiogenesis, in other words by the process of formation of new blood vessels in the damaged tissue.