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Thread: How aging can intensify damage of spinal cord injury

  1. #1

    How aging can intensify damage of spinal cord injury

    Oh boy! I am 61 years old, I thought I was getting better with age. Dr. Young, please a few words about this!



    PUBLIC RELEASE DATE:
    24-Jun-2014
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    Contact: Jonathan Godbout
    Jonathan.Godbout@osumc.edu
    614-293-3456
    Ohio State University
    How aging can intensify damage of spinal cord injury


    Study in mice suggests immune cells fail to activate key messenger needed for repair
    COLUMBUS, Ohio ? In the complex environment of a spinal cord injury, researchers have found that immune cells in the central nervous system of elderly mice fail to activate an important signaling pathway, dramatically lowering chances for repair after injury.
    These studies were the first to show that spinal cord injuries are more severe in elderly mice than in young adults, corroborating previous anecdotal findings from clinical settings. They also revealed a previously unknown player in the repair of spinal cord injuries in young adults.
    A key messenger in that pathway is a receptor on the surface of microglia, immune system cells in the central nervous system that are called into action by the trauma of the spinal cord injury.
    In young adult mice, this receptor is activated by microglia to recognize and make use of an inflammation-related signaling chemical that is found in the central nervous system after a spinal cord injury. The microglia in the elderly mice, however, do not activate the receptor at all.
    The study showed that the difference in receptor activation has consequences later in the recovery process. The kinds of cells recruited to the injury site in young adult mice appear to have more value in the repair process than do the cells that show up in elderly mice. A host of experiments traced those differing effects back to whether or not microglia activated the receptor.
    "The microglia are regulated by several different cell types and different signals, and it appears a lot of those systems change with age," said Jonathan Godbout, associate professor of neuroscience at The Ohio State University and senior author of the study.
    more....
    http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releas...-hac062314.php

  2. #2
    Senior Member TomRL's Avatar
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    Despite the drawbacks, I favor continuing to grow old.
    Tom

    "Blessed are the pessimists, for they hath made backups." Exasperated 20:12

  3. #3
    Senior Member Tbone57's Avatar
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    I'll second that

  4. #4
    Hi TomRL,

    At 67, I'll third that!!!

    Millard
    Last edited by Millard; 06-26-2014 at 05:13 PM.
    Millard
    ''Life's tough... it's even tougher if you're stupid!'' -- John Wayne


  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by manouli View Post
    Oh boy! I am 61 years old, I thought I was getting better with age. Dr. Young, please a few words about this!
    I think we are mixing two different things, having an injury when you are old which is related to the article you posted, and being some kind of 30 years post which is totally different.

  6. #6
    Many factors affect acute spinal cord injury, including of course the velocity of contusion (transient rapid compression), the duration of the compression, the tissue response to injury (calcium entry), the state of the cells (antioxidants, metabolism, energy), receptors on the cells, the inflammatory and immune response elicited by the injury, and of course genetics (including gender). It is not surprising that age (not aging) affects the injury response. This effect of age is very different from the how people will respond to therapies at different ages and times after injury. Note that the latter involves two factors, i.e. the age of the person after injury and the length of time after injury. We don't know very much about either one.

    Regarding the effect of time after injury, the only information that I have to date on the subject is that fact that we have treated patients who are more 10 years after injury and they seem to respond to the therapy like patients who are within 2 years after injury. To date, we have treated 41 patients and so far we have not see a significant difference between those treated within 2 years and more than 10 years after injury. There many be some limits but so far we have not seen it.

    Regarding the effect of age on recovery, there is some evidence to suggest that patients older than 50 years old don't have the same quality of circulating stem cells. However, in the case of our trials, we are transplanting umbilical cord blood mononuclear cells rather than autologous peripheral blood mononuclear cells. Umbilical cord blood mononuclear cells (and associated placenta and umbilical cord) are the richest and youngest source of stem cells. Umbilical cord blood has many kinds of stem cells, as well as monocytes (macrophage precursors) and other cells, that might contribute to the therapeutic effects of the transplanted cells. So, the age of the subjects may not matter as much because we are transplanted young cells.

    Both Stem Cell Inc and Neuralstem are using fetal neural stem cell lines. Although these cells are from fetal sources, I am not sure that it would be appropriate to call these cells "young" because they have been cultured for many years and the cells have undergone many divisions, which is one measure of age. On the other hand, the definition of age changes when one is considering cells that are being grown in culture. In the coming years, we will understand better what qualities cells must have to restore function. Until then, we must rely of empirical evidence, which is unfortunately very limited.

    I don't think that this paper implies that older people or people who are long times after injury will not respond to therapy. The study indicates that older people don't respond the same way to injury as young people. This is not surprising.

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by Wise Young View Post
    Regarding the effect of age on recovery, there is some evidence to suggest that patients older than 50 years old don't have the same quality of circulating stem cells. However, in the case of our trials, we are transplanting umbilical cord blood mononuclear cells rather than autologous peripheral blood mononuclear cells. Umbilical cord blood mononuclear cells (and associated placenta and umbilical cord) are the richest and youngest source of stem cells. Umbilical cord blood has many kinds of stem cells, as well as monocytes (macrophage precursors) and other cells, that might contribute to the therapeutic effects of the transplanted cells. So, the age of the subjects may not matter as much because we are transplanted young cells.
    Dear Wise,
    Would it be possible to know the difference between umbilical cord blood mononuclear cells and the other stem cells in the cord blood? Do these have to be HLA matched and if so how do you do that for people in these trials???

    Thanks for your knowledge,
    Sog

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