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Home > News > Leaps in paralysis recovery: electrodes, stem cells and nanotech

May 23rd, 2011

Leaps in paralysis recovery: electrodes, stem cells and nanotech

Abstract:
As the search for paralysis and spinal cord injury treatments continues, scientists have been researching other approaches recently, besides electrical implants, including stem cell injections and nanotechnology.

A team at Karolinska Institutet claimed they identified dormant stem cells in the spinal cords of mice that activate during injury to produce new cells. Professor Jonas FrisÚn said of this finding, "The stem cells have a certain positive effect following injury, but not enough for spinal cord functionality to be restored. One interesting question now is whether pharmaceutical compounds can be identified to stimulate the cells to form more support cells in order to improve functional recovery after a spinal trauma."

A human trial of embryonic stem cell injections as a paralysis therapy is in progress at the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago, according to the Reuters news agency.

At Northwestern University, scientists "nano-engineered" a gel injection designed to aid spinal cord regeneration by self-assembling into a supportive scaffolding for new nerve fibers growing at the injury site, they wrote.

Source:
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