Category: ‘Research for a Cure’
Posted on July 6th, 2021
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.
Posted on June 25th, 2021
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.
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.
Posted on March 6th, 2021
Scar-forming cells that overproduce the protein SOX2 made new neurons, improving recovery in mice
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.
Posted on February 22nd, 2021
Intravenous injection of bone marrow derived stem cells (MSCs) in patients with spinal cord injuries led to significant improvement in motor functions, researchers from Yale University and Japan report Feb. 18 in the Journal of Clinical Neurology and Neurosurgery.