Tag: Spinal Cord Injury Research
In the United States, more than 280,000 people—including 42,000 military veterans—are affected by spinal cord injury (SCI), including limb weakness and paralysis. While rehabilitation can be helpful, the benefits are slow and inadequate to restore patients’ lost independence. A team of researchers at Cleveland Clinic is trying to speed recovery using noninvasive brain stimulation.
Ela B. Plow, PhD, PT, of Cleveland Clinic’s Lerner Research Institute, recently received a four-year, $2.5 M award from the Department of Defense (DoD) to lead a brain stimulation study in patients with paralyzed upper limbs due to SCI. The award was granted under the DoD’s Spinal Cord Injury Research Program.
Searching the entire genome, a Yale research team has identified a gene that when eliminated can spur regeneration of axons in nerve cells severed by spinal cord injury.
“For the first time, the limits on nerve fiber regeneration were studied in an unbiased way across nearly all genes,” said Stephen Strittmatter, the Vincent Coates Professor of Neurology and senior author of the study appearing April 10 in the journal Cell Reports. “We had no idea whether we knew a lot or a little about the mechanics of nerve cell regeneration.”
Spinal Cord Injury Research Evidence (SCIRE) Community provides free information about spinal cord injury research that is written in everyday language.
SCIRE Community is a new addition to the SCIRE Project. The SCIRE Project is an international collaboration of scientists and health professionals that provides systematic reviews of spinal cord injury research for health professionals and researchers. The aim of the SCIRE Project has been to enable SCI professionals to guide their practice based on current best evidence.
The healing ability of the central nervous system is very limited and injuries to the brain or spinal cord often result in permanent functional deficits. Researchers at Karolinska Institutet report in the scientific journal Cell that they have found an important mechanism that explains why this happens. Using this new knowledge, they were able to improve functional recovery following spinal cord injury in mice.
In many organs, damaged tissue can be repaired by generating new cells of the type that were lost.
Hartland graduate student Andrew Stewart has dedicated nearly five years of his life to finding a cure for spinal cord injuries.
Stewart chose spinal cord injury research in 2009 after his brother was involved in an accident that damaged his spinal cord and left him paralyzed in a wheelchair.
“He had fallen from a third-story balcony onto a concrete slab,” Stewart said. “That’s what moved me to pursue a career in research to find a cure for spinal cord injuries.”
Implantable technology to restore sensation and walking in spinal cord injury patients
Irvine, Calif., Sept. 13, 2017 — The National Science Foundation has awarded $8 million to a consortium led by the University of California, Irvine to develop a brain-computer interface that can restore walking ability and sensation in individuals with spinal cord injury. This initiative represents the largest NSF award received by faculty researchers in the UCI engineering and medicine schools.
Scientists have learned more about how a new surgical technique works to reconnect the spinal cord with sensory neurons after traumatic spinal injuries. A rat study suggests that this procedure encourages new growth from spinal neurons, and if this is how it works in humans, it could be used to repair other kinds of injuries, including severed spinal cords.
Reconnecting The Motor Root
Scientists in Sweden and the U.K. developed a surgical technique to reconnect the spinal cord with sensory neurons after traumatic spinal injuries. Now, by recreating the technique in rats, they have new insights into the cellular processes implicated in the technique.
Until World War II, people with spinal cord injuries had few treatment or rehabilitation options. And even today, spinal cord injuries can have catastrophic effects on everything from mobility to sensation, bladder, bowel and sexual function.
However, over the past 20 years, several breakthroughs in spinal cord repair and technology have emerged. No single breakthrough has achieved a full repair, but each has advanced our understanding of the complexities of spinal cord injuries. Here are ten of the most important advances in spinal cord injury repair.
A new gene therapy that may restore some movement function to people with recent spinal cord injuries is the focus for spinal cord injury researcher, Jarred Griffin.
The new technique involves using gene therapy technology to insert genes into damaged spinal cord tissue to allow the motor neurons to potentially regrow and restore function.
It’s very early days in the development of the technology, says Jarred, (25) who is a doctoral student in the Centre for Brain Research at the University of Auckland, working with a team of researchers to pioneer the gene therapy.