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Neurology

Bacterial Enzyme May Help Severed Nerves to Regrow

21 years, 4 months ago

8633  0
Posted on Oct 10, 2002, 6 a.m. By Bill Freeman

Results of a recent study suggest that a bacterial enzyme can help severed nerves to regrow. The study on rats with crush-type spinal injuries by researchers at King's College London in the UK revealed that chondroitinase ABC was able to break through cellular obstacles such as scar tissue and remove molecules preventing regrowth of the nerve from the site of the injury.

Results of a recent study suggest that a bacterial enzyme can help severed nerves to regrow. The study on rats with crush-type spinal injuries by researchers at King's College London in the UK revealed that chondroitinase ABC was able to break through cellular obstacles such as scar tissue and remove molecules preventing regrowth of the nerve from the site of the injury. Furthermore, the researchers found that treatment with the enzyme, dubbed the "molecular machete", led to regrowth of the severed nerves and subsequently the animals regained at least some of their normal walking ability. It is hoped that chondroitinase ABC and other experimental treatments such as nerve growth factors could be used together to treat human spinal cord injuries

SOURCE/REFERENCE: Nature 2002; 416:589-590, 636-640

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