To decrease the topics I opened this miscellaneous questions topic so I put all my questions regarding cure , here.

I found this article. Can you professor Young explain what this cyclic AMP is and can it be tested on humans? Also what is your overall opinion about this article.
Thank you
Bubo
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Spinal Cord Repair May Be Possible

Scientists announced they have figured out a new way to get nerve cells to regenerate in the laboratory and have come one step closer to being able to repair spinal cord injuries -- although that prospect remains years away.

"For the first time in history there is some optimism that we may be able to get functional recovery of spinal cord injuries," Ronald L. Schnaar, co-author of the study and professor of pharmacology and of neuroscience at Johns Hopkins University, told United Press International. "Whether it's this decade or next decade, I think we'll begin to see this knowledge turned into therapies."

Schnaar and colleagues at the University of Hamburg, Germany, discovered how to modulate a molecular signal that inhibits the regeneration of nerve cells after they are damaged.

"Whenever there is an injury to the central nervous system including the spinal cord, molecules remain which instruct nerve cells (not to regenerate)," Schnaar explained. By blocking these molecules or the nerve cell receptors they bind to, "we might be able to allow nerve cells to regenerate."

One of these inhibiting molecules is called MAG, or myelin associated glycoprotein. Rat nerve cells will grow when placed in a culture dish, but if MAG is added it stops them cold, Schnaar said.

Schnaar's team found blocking the nerve cell receptors that MAG binds to -- either with an enzyme that shuts off the binding site or an antibody that prevents MAG from binding altogether -- they could get the nerve cells to grow again.

The findings "point the way to a potential way to enhance nerve regeneration," Schnaar said, cautioning, "Our studies have no immediate medical application, and I think it will be some time before these therapies get tested in humans."

The findings with MAG mirror studies of two others inhibitor molecules similar to MAG. The molecules, called Nogo and CSPG, or chondroitin sulfate proteoglycan, also can be blocked, allowing nerve cells to regrow after they are damaged.

"The hope is that by combining one or more of these reversal techniques we can take the brakes off and get nerve cells to regrow," Schnaar said.

Studies in animals have looked promising and have generated "modest recovery," he said. "For people with spinal cord injury, every modest amount of increase would be important."

Marie T. Filbin, a professor of neurobiology at Hunter College in the City University of New York, downplayed the findings.

"It's an interesting hypothesis. However, a lot more work needs to be done to show that (interfering with MAG receptors causes) inhibition," said Filbin, who recently published two papers in the journal Neuron showing the injection of a molecule called cyclic AMP enabled rat spinal cords to regenerate after being cut.

Filbin's research suggests MAG is binding to something else on the nerve cells and soon will publish research showing just that, she told UPI.

Schnaar would not provide a timeline for when nerve regeneration therapies might be used in humans, but he said, "People in the field are talking 5 to 10 years. But who knows, it could be faster, it could be slower."

The study appears in this week's Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
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