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Neurology

Scientists Reverse Spinal Injury

21 years, 4 months ago

10451  0
Posted on Oct 11, 2002, 6 a.m. By Bill Freeman

Scientists have discovered a way of repairing nerve damage, a discovery that could lead to new treatments for spinal cord injuries. When the spinal cord is damaged scar tissue forms at the site of injury, the scar tissue then produces molecules that 'block' nerve fibers from regenerating. However, researchers from the Cambridge University Centre for Brain Repair, in the UK found that they can remove this 'block' by injecting a bacterial enzyme called chondroitinase into the injured cord.

Scientists have discovered a way of repairing nerve damage, a discovery that could lead to new treatments for spinal cord injuries. When the spinal cord is damaged scar tissue forms at the site of injury, the scar tissue then produces molecules that 'block' nerve fibers from regenerating. However, researchers from the Cambridge University Centre for Brain Repair, in the UK found that they can remove this 'block' by injecting a bacterial enzyme called chondroitinase into the injured cord. The enzyme then breaks down some of the molecules produced by the scar tissue that prevent regeneration. The study, which was carried out on rats, showed that chondroitinase helped the animals to regain a significant amount of neurological function.

SOURCE/REFERENCE: Reported by www.bbc.co.uk on the 17th April 2001

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