Spinal Cord Injury News

A collection of posts on news, information and resources for those with spinal cord injuries.


An Engineering Approach to Shape Neuronal Connections

Precise control over neuron growth paves the way for repairing injuries, improving brain models.

Arlotta Neuron Growth
Neurons in the zebrafish, where Harvard researchers tested their approach to direct axon growth. Credit: Arlotta Laboratory/Harvard University

Harvard University researchers have developed an engineering technique to precisely control the direction that neurons grow their axons, cable-like structures that allow nerve cells to connect with each other. In a zebrafish model, researchers used the approach to correct defective neural connections and restore the neuron’s ability to cause muscle contractions.

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Posted in Research for a Cure on June 8th, 2020.

New Treatment Discovered to Reduce Swelling after Spinal Cord Injuries

Scientists have discovered a new treatment to dramatically reduce swelling after brain and spinal cord injuries, offering hope to 75 million victims worldwide each year.

Stem Cell Therapy

The breakthrough in treating such injuries – referred to as central nervous system (CNS) oedema – is thought to be hugely significant because current options are limited to putting patients in an induced coma or performing risky surgery.

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Posted in Research for a Cure, Therapies and Procedures on May 16th, 2020.

Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation and Shepherd Center Publish New Resource to Help Prepare for Rehabilitation After Spinal Cord Injury

Booklet provides information, hope for patients and families.

The Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation, in collaboration with Shepherd Center, recently published “Restoring Hope: Preparing for Rehabilitation After Spinal Cord Injury.” The booklet aims to help patients and families learn about spinal cord injury, organize information, chart a path and choose a rehabilitation program.

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Posted in General SCI and Human Interest on May 4th, 2020.

Scientists Regenerate Neurons in Mice with Spinal Cord Injury and Optic Nerve Damage

Axon Regeneration
Injured CNS axons fail to regenerate in adult mammals and there are no effective regenerative strategies to treat patients with CNS injuries. Dr. Li’s group demonstrates that upregulating Lin28 gene in mature neurons induces significant long distance regeneration of both spinal cord axons and optic nerve in adult mice.

Like power lines in an electrical grid, long wiry projections that grow outward from neurons – structures known as axons – form interconnected communication networks that run from the brain to all parts of the body. But unlike an outage in a power line, which can be fixed, a break in an axon is permanent. Each year thousands of patients confront this reality, facing life-long losses in sensation and motor function from spinal cord injury and related conditions in which axons are badly damaged or severed.

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Posted in Research for a Cure on April 30th, 2020.

UVA Scientists Probe Individual Cells to Find Better Treatments for Spinal Cord Injuries

X-ray of the Spine

Two top scientists at the University of Virginia School of Medicine are seeking answers to questions about spinal cord injuries that have long frustrated the development of effective treatments.

The scientists, Jonathan Kipnis, PhD, and Kodi Ravichandran, PhD, are teaming up to understand why critical nerve cells called neurons continue to die after spinal cord injuries. So little is known that doctors aren’t even certain if the body’s immune response is beneficial or harmful.

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Posted in Uncategorized on April 30th, 2020.

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