Category: ‘Research for a Cure’


NeuroRegen Scaffold Transplantation Brings Hope to Spinal Cord Injury Patients

Posted on September 10th, 2021

A joint group of Chinese scientists has recently confirmed the safety and preliminary effective of NeuroRegen Scaffold transplantation for spinal cord injury repair. Results were published in Science China Life Sciences.

NeuroRegen Scaffold transplantation
NeuroRegen Scaffold transplantation (Image by IGDB)

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‘Zombie Cells’ Hold Clues to Spinal Cord Injury Repair

Posted on July 6th, 2021

A transversal cross-section of a mouse spinal cord.
The image represents a transversal cross-section of a mouse spinal cord. Neuronal cell bodies are represented in light blue delineating the butterfly shape characteristic of the gray matter, while glial projections are represented in orange-red. Credit: Diogo Paramos-de-Carvalho

Mammals have a poor ability to recover after a spinal cord injury which can result in paralysis. A main reason for this is the formation of a complex scar associated with chronic inflammation that produces a cellular microenvironment that blocks tissue repair. Now, a research team led by Leonor Saude, group leader at Instituto de Medicina Molecular Joao Lobo Antunes (iMM; Portugal) and Professor at Faculdade de Medicina da Universidade de Lisboa, have shown that the administration of drugs that target specific cellular components of this scar, improve functional recovery after injury. The results now published in the scientific journal Cell Reports* set the basis for a new promising therapeutic strategy not only for spinal cord injuries, but potentially for other organs that lack regenerative competence.

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How Stem Cells Synchronize to Repair the Spinal Cord in Axolotls

Posted on June 25th, 2021

A cross-section of axolotl spinal cord.
A cross-section of axolotl spinal cord. Neural stem cells are red and green in the middle, lining the hollow, fluid-filled centre of the spinal cord (central canal). Neurons are located on the outside – nerve fibres are labelled in yellow. Blue labels all cell nuclei. © L. Otsuki/IMP

Few animals can regenerate their spinal cord after an injury. The axolotl, a salamander endemic to Mexico, can mobilize stem cells in its spinal cord to regrow the lost tissue. An international team of scientists from Argentina’s National Scientific and Technical Research Council (CONICET), the Research Institute of Molecular Pathology (IMP) in Austria, and the Technische Universität Dresden in Germany investigated the early stages of this process and found that stem cells synchronize over surprisingly long distances to orchestrate regeneration. Their findings are now published on the online platform eLife.

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Cell Reprogramming Could Aid Spinal Cord Injury Recovery

Posted on May 13th, 2021

Cells called astrocytes normally support our neurons, and now scientists are working to reprogram the star-shaped cells into neurons that help reconnect the brain and body after a spinal cord injury.

“We are at the stage of optimization. We know this reprogramming is feasible and we can do it,” says Dr. Hedong Li, molecular neuroscientist in the Department of Neuroscience and Regenerative Medicine at the Medical College of Georgia.

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Putting a Protein into Overdrive to Heal Spinal Cord Injuries

Posted on March 6th, 2021

Scar-forming cells that overproduce the protein SOX2 made new neurons, improving recovery in mice

New Spinal Neurons

Using genetic engineering, researchers at UT Southwestern and Indiana University have reprogrammed scar-forming cells in mouse spinal cords to create new nerve cells, spurring recovery after spinal cord injury. The findings, published online today in Cell Stem Cell, could offer hope for the hundreds of thousands of people worldwide who suffer a spinal cord injury each year.

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