Break Through in Nerve Regeneration Following Spinal Cord Surgery

According to Digital Journal, Researchers from UC Irvine, UC San Diego and Harvard have made a breakthrough in nerve regeneration following a spinal cord injury. The researchers were able to regenerate nerve connections that are responsible for voluntary movement.  The research has so far only been carried out on mice but there could be new potential for the treatment of paralysis and a range of other motor impairments, the findings of the study show. Scientists found that by deleting an enzyme from the brain that controls nerve regeneration following a spinal cord injury, nerve connections were able to regenerate.

Dr. Corenman discusses nerve regeneration following spinal cord surgery: “My experience with cord injuries and regeneration is the clinical treatment of cord injuries with surgery and rehab. This is an interesting new development but you have to understand that this is the very beginning of the possible development of a new tool. Getting the nerves to grow in the spinal cord where they are packed as tight as possible may lead to some recovery but also may lead to connections that are unorganized, non-useful and possibly deleterious. It probably won't hurt in a patient who is totally paralyzed as there is no penalty if it does not work. One of the questions is; if this even works- will the nerve be able to reconnect with its severed end or will it connect with something else? There is a complex "dance" of biology that goes into healing and the entire cascade needs to be known. This is the first possible step.”  


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