posted on Feb, 4 2012 @ 10:24 PM
New procedure repairs severed nerves in minutes, restoring limb use in days or weeks
February 3, 2012
American scientists believe a new procedure to repair severed nerves could result in patients recovering in days or weeks, rather than months
or years. The team used a cellular mechanism similar to that used by many invertebrates to repair damage to nerve axons. Their results are published
today in the Journal of Neuroscience Research.
"We have developed a procedure which can repair severed nerves within minutes so that the behavior they control can be partially restored within days
and often largely restored within two to four weeks," said Professor George Bittner from the University of Texas. "If further developed in clinical
trials this approach would be a great advance on current procedures that usually imperfectly restore lost function within months at best."
The team studied the mechanisms all animal cells use to repair damage to their membranes and focused on invertebrates, which have a superior ability
to regenerate nerve axons compared to mammals. An axon is a long extension arising from a nerve cell body that communicates with other nerve cells or
This research success arises from Bittner's discovery that nerve axons of invertebrates which have been severed from their cell body do not degenerate
within days, as happens with mammals, but can survive for months, or even years. The severed proximal nerve axon in invertebrates can also reconnect
with its surviving distal nerve axon to produce much quicker and much better restoration of behaviour than occurs in mammals.
This is incredible news! Could this finally be the miracle so many whom have been paralyzed have been waiting for?
Having worked as a Trauma Nurse for fifteen plus years, I have seen too many lives snuffed out by some freak accident. Too many 18 year olds
paralyzed from the neck down. To see that there may be new hope on the
horizon for these people brings a tear of joy to my eye.
Perhaps, this is just the beginning and regeneration of an actual limb will be in our future. Nevertheless, some truly good news for a change.
edit on 2/4/2012 by paxnatus because: typo