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New clues to repairing an injured spinal cord

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posted on Aug, 5 2014 @ 06:43 PM
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New clues to repairing an injured spinal cord


Frogs, dogs, whales, snails can all do it, but humans and primates can't. Regrow nerves after an injury, that is -- while many animals have this ability, humans don't. But new research from the Salk Institute suggests that a small molecule may be able to convince damaged nerves to grow and effectively rewire circuits. Such a feat could eventually lead to therapies for the thousands of Americans with severe spinal cord injuries and paralysis.

"This research implies that we might be able to mimic neuronal repair processes that occur naturally in lower animals, which would be very exciting," says the study's senior author and Salk professor Kuo-Fen Lee. The results were published in PLOS Biology.

For a damaged nerve to regain function, its long, signal-transmitting extensions known as axons need to grow and establish new connections to other cells.

In a study published last summer in PLOS ONE, Lee and his colleagues found that the protein p45 promotes nerve regeneration by preventing the axon sheath (known as myelin) from inhibiting regrowth. However, humans, primates and some other more advanced vertebrates don't have p45. Instead, the researchers discovered a different protein, p75, that binds to the axon's myelin when nerve damage occurs in these animals. Instead of promoting nerve regeneration, p75 actually halts growth in damaged nerves.

"We don't know why this nerve regeneration doesn't occur in humans. We can speculate that the brain has so many neural connections that this regeneration is not absolutely necessary," Lee says.


Science is cool


Now there is still a lot of work that has to be done but thanks to the animal kingdom, there might one day be a way to have nerve regeneration in spinal cord injuries.


The findings suggest that either p45 or another disrupting molecule, that can effectively break the p75 pair could offer a possible nerve regeneration/treatment for spinal cord damage. One method could be to introduce a small molecule that jams the link between the two p75 proteins. It could get through the blood-brain barrier and to the site of spinal cord injuries

The next step will be to see if introducing p45 helps regenerate damaged human nerves. "That is what we hope to do in the future," Lee says.




posted on Aug, 5 2014 @ 08:31 PM
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Just for a minute let's all do the bump, bump, bump

((Sorry, just trying to make sure that people can view this))



posted on Aug, 5 2014 @ 10:43 PM
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a reply to: knoledgeispower

Man I hope so...what a wonderful breakthrough...I wonder how lizards grow their tail back??



posted on Aug, 5 2014 @ 11:25 PM
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a reply to: chrismarco

I wonder if it is something a bit similar.



posted on Aug, 6 2014 @ 05:15 AM
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Good find....!



posted on Aug, 6 2014 @ 05:54 AM
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a reply to: knoledgeispower

After an accident, not mine, where I work, I was looking at this site.

articles.sun-sentinel.com...

I am not sure how this will fit into the discussion. I just know it this is not the first time I had heard of such a proceedure.
I would hope it has some promise when appied to spinal injuries.

It would truely be a tremendous step forward.



posted on Aug, 6 2014 @ 07:34 AM
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originally posted by: teamcommander
a reply to: knoledgeispower

articles.sun-sentinel.com...


This is an old hoax. Well, maybe "hoax" is a bit strong as it implies the intent to deceive, perhaps sloppy science would best describe it:

www.theguardian.com...



posted on Aug, 6 2014 @ 02:56 PM
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originally posted by: teamcommander
a reply to: knoledgeispower

After an accident, not mine, where I work, I was looking at this site.

articles.sun-sentinel.com...

I am not sure how this will fit into the discussion. I just know it this is not the first time I had heard of such a proceedure.
I would hope it has some promise when appied to spinal injuries.

It would truely be a tremendous step forward.

***section removed due to "sloppy" science behind users article, as a different user said***

I had posted an article a while back about being able to bypass the spinal cord in order to have movement again but this study is taking to the next step so that you don't even have to worry about bypassing the spinal cord. Some might still have to use the bypass, it will probably depend on how expensive each one is.
edit on 6-8-2014 by knoledgeispower because: (no reason given)



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