Nerve cells re-grown after spinal injury

26 June 2013

Scientists in the US have made progress in repairing damaged nerve cells in paralysed rats.

The rats were able to regain some bladder control after spinal surgery to transplant nerve cells into the spinal cord, the researchers found.

The health research, published in the June 26th edition of the Journal of Neuroscience, raises hopes that the technique could one day help paralysed patients.

Lead author Dr Jerry Silver of Case Western Reserve Medical School, Cleveland, Ohio, said: "Although animals did not regain the ability to walk, they did recover a remarkable measure of urinary control."

Co-author Dr Yu-Shang Lee of the Cleveland Clinic, added: "This is the first time that significant bladder function has been restored via nerve regeneration after a devastating cord injury."

The team used a chemical that promotes cell growth along with an enzyme to create more favourable conditions for the nerve graft at the spinal injury site.

Posted by Jeanette Royston

Yu-Shang Lee and Jerry Silver. Journal of Neuroscience. June 26th 2013.

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