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Home Industry News New animal research suggests new pathway for spinal cord regeneration

New animal research suggests new pathway for spinal cord regeneration

6th August 2014

A molecule has been discovered by US researchers that could form the basis of a new technique for helping to repair damaged spinal cord nerves.

Researchers from the Salk Institute have conducted a study to find why animals such as frogs, dogs, whales and snails are able to regenerate spinal cord cells, but humans and primates cannot.

It was discovered that other creatures have a protein called p45 that promotes nerve regeneration by preventing the axon sheath from inhibiting regrowth. However, more advanced vertebrates possess a different protein, p75, that halts growth in damaged nerves instead.

The team now believe that using p45 or another agent to disrupt the effects of p75 could make it possible for damaged human nerves to be regenerated for the first time.

Study senior author and Salk professor Kuo-Fen Lee said: "This research implies that we might be able to mimic neuronal repair processes that occur naturally in lower animals, which would be very exciting."

At the moment, serious damage to spinal cords is irreversible and can cause loss of movement, feeling or organ function in the parts of the body affected.ADNFCR-8000103-ID-801740411-ADNFCR

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