Spinal Cord Injury News

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


Implanted Neural Stem Cell Grafts Show Functionality in Spinal Cord Injuries

In mouse studies, the specialized grafts integrated with host networks and behaved much like neurons in a healthy, undamaged spinal cord.

Cultured Human Neuron
Colorized scanning electron micrograph of a cultured human neuron. Photo credit: Thomas Deerinck, UC San Diego National Center for Microscopy and Imaging.

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Posted in Uncategorized on August 5th, 2020.

Rotterdam Researchers’ Breakthrough Could Help Paraplegics Stand with Support

Researchers at the Erasmus Medical Center in Rotterdam had a breakthrough that could help paralyzed people be able to stand on their own feet with support. They found that the stimulation of a nerve node in the lower back, the spinal ganglion, elicits muscle responses that allow people with a full spinal cord injury to bear their own weight, the hospital said.

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Posted in Therapies and Procedures on July 28th, 2020.

Restoring Mobility by Identifying the Neurons that Make it Possible

Stimulated Neurons
Credit: CC0 Public Domain

Researchers at EPFL were able to get paralyzed rodents walking again by stimulating the animals’ damaged spinal cords. This promising treatment has already helped paraplegics regain mobility during clinical trials at Lausanne University Hospital (CHUV). Now, using artificial intelligence, the researchers can pinpoint which neurons are involved in the gait reacquisition process. The results, which have been published in Nature Biotechnology, could lead to the development of new approaches, making treatments even more effective, as well as paving the way for advances in other areas of biomedical research.

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Posted in Research for a Cure on July 21st, 2020.

Paralyzed Mice with Spinal Cord Injury Made to Walk Again

Cross section of a mouse spinal cord.
A cross section of a mouse spinal cord, stained two different ways, showing increased expression of KCC2 in inhibitory neurons. This increased expression correlated with improved motor function, including ankle movement and stepping. Credit: Zhigang He Lab, Boston Children’s Hospital

Most people with spinal cord injury are paralyzed from the injury site down, even when the cord isn’t completely severed. Why don’t the spared portions of the spinal cord keep working? Researchers at Boston Children’s Hospital now provide insight into why these nerve pathways remain quiet. They also show that a small-molecule compound, given systemically, can revive these circuits in paralyzed mice, restoring their ability to walk.

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Posted in Research for a Cure on July 20th, 2020.

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.

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