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Combination therapy leads to partial recovery from spinal cord injury in rats

riments also used a combination of outcomes -- physiology, behavior, and anatomy -- to point clearly at myelination as the cause for improved function," says Naomi Kleitman, Ph.D., the NINDS program director for the grants that funded this work. "The study also is a good example of strong collaboration between two spinal cord injury research centers, one at the University of Louisville and the other at the University of Miami in Florida."

The researchers are now investigating ways to improve this type of therapy with additional genetic modifications to the transplanted cells, and they plan to test similar techniques that start with undifferentiated embryonic stem (ES) cells instead of glial-restricted precursor cells. ES cells would be better for human studies than glial-restricted precursors because ES cells can be more readily obtained, Dr. Whittemore says.

[1]Cao Q, Xu X-M, DeVries WH, Enzmann GU, Ping P, Tsoulfas P, Wood PM, Bunge MB, Whittemore SR. "Functional recovery in traumatic spinal cord injury after transplantation of multineurotrophin-expressing glial-restricted precursor cells." Journal of Neuroscience, July 27, 2005, Vol. 25, No. 30, pp. 6947-6957.


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