Nerve Regeneration in Spinal Cord Injuries – New Hope

Nerve Regeneration in Spinal Cord Injuries – New Hope

Our sense of smell provides a new way to battle spinal cord injuries.

Researchers from the University of Bristol have just shared the promising results of a new treatment for spinal cord injuries that could help regenerate nerves and potentially improve patients’ quality of life.

Spinal cord injuries affect millions of individuals and research is routinely being conducted to make progress in this areas treatment options. A new process has been discovered that could drastically change how spinal cord injuries are treated as a result of the work done by University of Bristol scientists.

This team of scientists have successfully transplanted genetically modified cells that secrete a treatment molecule shown to be effective at removing the scar following spinal cord damage. The scar in the damaged spinal cord typically limits recovery by blocking nerve regrowth. This treatment enzyme is key in breaking down the glial scar at the injury point of the spinal cord and helping to promote nerve regrowth.

Dr. Liang-Fong Wong from Bristol Medical School, said: “While these initial results look promising, in order to determine the longer-term survival of our genetically modified cells and assess functional recovery, such as recovery of walking or recovery of continence, we need to carry out further studies to test these cell transplants in more chronic injury models.”

The work has received more funding and the team has high hopes of making more break through with this treatment, and hopefully find a way to repair spinal cord injuries.