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Thread: Nerve connections regenerated after spinal cord injury

  1. #1
    Senior Member KIM's Avatar
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    Jul 2001
    Piedralaves (Avila) SPAIN

    Nerve connections regenerated after spinal cord injury

    2010-08-09 11:50:00
    In a breakthrough study, scientists have successfully achieved regeneration of nerve connections after a spinal cord injury.

    UC Irvine, UC San Diego and Harvard University team conducted the study on rodents.

    They did this by deleting an enzyme called PTEN (a phosphatase and tensin homolog). PTEN activity is low early during development, allowing cell proliferation.

    It then turns on when growth is completed, inhibiting mTOR and precluding any ability to regenerate.

    Even a small spinal cord injury can cause paralysis of arms and legs, loss of ability to feel below the shoulders, inability to control the bladder and bowel, loss of sexual function, and secondary health risks including susceptibility to urinary tract infections, pressure sores and blood clots due to an inability to move the legs.

    Zhigang He a senior neurology researcher first showed in a 2008 study that blocking PTEN in mice enabled the regeneration of connections from the eye to the brain after optic nerve damage.

    He then partnered with Oswald Steward and Binhai Zheng to see if the same approach could promote nerve regeneration in injured spinal cord sites.

  2. #2
    Researchers for the first time have induced robust regeneration of nerve connections that control voluntary movement after spinal cord injury, showing the potential for new therapeutic approaches to paralysis and other motor function impairments.
    In a study on rodents, the UC Irvine, UC San Diego and Harvard University team achieved this breakthrough by turning back the developmental clock in a molecular pathway critical for the growth of corticospinal tract nerve connections.

    They call this finding a breakthrough, will this turn into something real for us?

    Dr. Young, what's your opinion?
    It's a shame of human beings that SCI cannot be cured.

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by suguo View Post
    They call this finding a breakthrough, will this turn into something real for us?

    Dr. Young, what's your opinion?
    let's see when and if they translate into human treatment . We can always hope.

  4. #4
    Sure it will, 15 years down the road as usual.

  5. #5
    Senior Member 0xSquidy's Avatar
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    Dec 2009
    Barcelona (Spain)
    Yes, it will be 15 years down the road as usual because as usual people stays home hoping somebody else to do the fighting. Doh..
    Don't ask what clinical trials can do for you, ask what you can do for clinical trials.

    Fenexy: Proyecto Volver a Caminar (soon in english too)

  6. #6
    Senior Member KIM's Avatar
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    Piedralaves (Avila) SPAIN
    If it works on humans it will take less, research is in the fast lane now.

  7. #7
    rodents.. everything is achievable with rodents.. never with humans.

    i always wondered.. is there a secret lab somewhere where they are secretly conducting stuff? im serious, not some frankenstein shit but off the radar
    c5/c6 brown sequard asia d

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by Patrick Madsen View Post
    Sure it will, 15 years down the road as usual.

    There are steps that inevitably eat up time before they even think about human trials:
    The team is now studying whether the PTEN-deletion treatment leads to actual restoration of motor function in mice with spinal cord injury. Further study will explore the optimal timeframe and drug-delivery system for the therapy.
    Professor James Fawcett, head of clinical neuroscience at Cambridge University, said there was an awful lot of work going on in this area and the results were exciting.
    But he pointed out: "It seems to work in young mice but we need to see what happens in older mice.
    "We need to make it clear that this is not ready for human patients."
    Dr Michael Coleman, from The Babraham Institute in Cambridge added that the challenge would be taking the results and turning them into a treatment that could be used in humans.
    "Finding drugs to block the same pathway would be one approach as even gene therapy, which is highly experimental, could not easily 'remove' a gene as they have done so here."
    This does seem to be a promising step as they have demonstrated regeneration but they have yet to demonstrate recovery of function:
    Meanwhile, researchers have reported promising signs of spinal cord regeneration in mice with severe spinal cord injuries in Nature Neuroscience, using not stem cell transplantation but a genetic manipulation approach, blocking expression of the PTEN gene that curbs nerve growth. The study showed regenerative growth of damaged spinal cord axons (nerve cells) in mice across the injury site, as well as some growth of new axons, not previously observed in mammalian spinal cord injuries [Liu K et al. (2010) Nat. Neurosci. doi:10.1038/nn.2603]. The authors proposed that a 'rejuvenation' strategy might ultimately be of value in treating similar injuries in humans, although they have yet to demonstrate any restoration of spinal cord function so the approach is very much at the proof-of-concept stage only.
    Some more good news:
    The Technology Strategy Board, a UK governmental body responsible for driving technological innovation, has announced a total of £5 million funding to support feasibility research and product development for new regenerative medicine ‘products, tools and technologies’ (see press release). This is the latest in a £21.5m programme of funding for this area of research supported by the Medical Research Council (MRC), the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) and the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC).
    This won't all be spent on SCI research but it is encouraging that governemt money is being put into regenerative medicine.
    Last edited by Adrian; 08-09-2010 at 03:38 PM.

  9. #9
    In Breakthrough, Nerve Connections Are Regenerated After Spinal Cord Injury


  10. #10
    Senior Member Norm's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2001
    Media, PA
    Yawn, same old news.
    "Some people say that, the longer you go the better it gets the more you get used to it, I'm actually finding the opposite is true."

    -Christopher Reeve on his Paralysis

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