Navigation Links
Improving recovery from spinal cord injury
Date:6/9/2010

Once damaged, nerves in the spinal cord normally cannot grow back and the only drug approved for treating these injuries does not enable nerve regrowth. Publishing online this week in the Early Edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, researchers at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine show that treating injured rat spinal cords with an enzyme, sialidase, improves nerve regrowth, motor recovery and nervous system function.

"This is the first functional study showing behavioral improvement below a spinal cord injury by the delivery of sialidase," says Ronald Schnaar, Ph.D., a professor of pharmacology and molecular sciences at Johns Hopkins. "Sialidase has properties that are appealing from the human drug development point of view."

Sialidase is a bacterial enzyme that removes specific chemical groups found on the surface of nerve cells. The chemical groups normally function to stablize the cells, but also act to prevent nerve regeneration.

The team built upon earlier research where they disovered that sialidase treatment improved the growth of nerves into a graft. "We wanted to take this further and look at the animal model most relevant to human spinal cord injury," says Schnaar. "Typically, in motor vehicle accidents for example, vertebra shift and pinch the spinal cord, severing the long spinal nerve axons like you would if you pinched a piece of wet spaghetti." So they treated rats after a spinal cord impact injury by injecting sialidase directly to the injury site.

Rats with lower-back impact injury severe enough to lose hind-limb function were injected with sialidase directly over the spinal cord immediately following injury. The researchers then implanted into each rat a small pump that delivered a steady stream of sialidase directly to the injury over the course of two weeks, hoping that bathing the injured nerves in the enzyme would help their recovery and promote regrowth. They then let the rats recover for another three weeks before assessing the degree of recovery.

Using a well-established, 21-point scale where zero represents paralysis and 21 is normal function, the team of researchers assesed treated and untreated rats for a range of functions including whether they could lift their feet off the ground and whether they had coordinated leg movements. The initial injury rendered all rats to score below four, and all rats, treated or not, recovered somewhat by the end of two weeks. By the end of five weeks after injury most untreated rats scored 12 or less, while most treated rats scored better than 15. "The difference in coordination control was most remarkable," says Schnaar.

In addition to motor control, spinal cord injury can cause other nervous system problems, including losing the ability to control blood pressure and heart rate. To see if sialidase treatment improved nerve connections enough to remedy these problems, the team measured the nerve circuits that control blood pressure in treated and untreated rats. They found that treated animals improved blood pressure control. "We interpret this as improved communication in the spinal cord," says Schnaar.

Finally, the team looked at the nerve ends under a microscope and found that indeed, treated nerves showed an increased number of "sprouted" nerve ends, which according to Schnaar, provided anatomical evidence to add to the functional evidence that "something is going on."

"The positive is that we have shown functional recovery in a relevant animal model of spinal cord injury," says Schnaar. "That being said, we haven't done full toxicity studies on these rats, which definitely needs to be done before we think about taking the long road into using this as a drug in people; efficacy in animals also doesn't necessarily translate to humans."


'/>"/>

Contact: Audrey Huang
audrey@jhmi.edu
410-614-5105
Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. ACR task force makes recommendations for improving relationships between radiologists and hospitals
2. Report Finds Control of High Blood Pressure Improving
3. Improving the health of all the worlds children
4. Survival in metastatic breast cancer patients is improving: targeted therapies have contributed
5. Amistaff Launches RN Medical/Surgical & RN Pharmacology Exams Using New Validation Process Focused on Improving Quality of Patient Care
6. Health Occupations Students of America, Inc. and the U.S. Army Sign Memorandum of Understanding in Support of Improving Career Options for Nations Students
7. Care improving, cost saving Indiana Network for Patient Care expands
8. Improving care for low-birth-weight infants
9. Morehead Presents Webinar on "When Satisfaction Isn't Enough: Improving RN Engagement"
10. Global Hospitals and Healthcare Suppliers Focus on Cutting Costs and Improving Quality at 2010 GHX Supply Chain Summit
11. Charging less for more effective treatments could reduce health care costs while improving health
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... ... As a lifelong Southern Californian, Dr. Omkar Marathe earned his Bachelors in ... School of Medicine at UCLA. He trained in Internal Medicine at Scripps Green Hospital ... at the UCLA-Olive View-Cedars Sinai program where he had the opportunity to train in ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... (PRWEB) , ... June 25, 2016 , ... On Friday, ... presented a Bronze Wellness at Work award to iHire in recognition of their exemplary ... part of the 7th annual Maryland Workplace Health & Wellness Symposium at the BWI ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... 24, 2016 , ... A recent article published June 14 on ... article goes on to state that individuals are now more comfortable seeking to undergo ... such as calf and cheek reduction. The Los Angeles area medical group, Beverly Hills ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... , ... June 24, 2016 , ... June 19, 2016 ... dangers associated with chronic pain and the benefits of holistic treatments, Serenity Recovery ... are suffering with Sickle Cell Disease. , Sickle Cell Disease (SCD) is a disorder ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... June 24, 2016 , ... The Pulmonary Hypertension Association ... it will receive two significant new grants to support its work to advance ... 25th anniversary by recognizing patients, medical professionals and scientists for their work in ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:6/23/2016)... Calif. , June 23, 2016 Any dentist ... many challenges of the current process. Many of them do ... of the technical difficulties and high laboratory costs involved. And ... to offer it at such a high cost that the ... it. Dr. Parsa Zadeh , founder of ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... June 23, 2016 Roche (SIX: RO, ROG; ... for its Elecsys BRAHMS PCT (procalcitonin) assay as a ... septic shock. With this clearance, Roche is the first ... integrated solution for sepsis risk assessment and management. ... infection and PCT levels in blood can aid clinicians ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... 23, 2016 Research and Markets has ... 52" report to their offering. ... creates a favourable commercial environment for MedImmune to enter. The ... that will serve to drive considerable growth for effective anti-influenza ... to cap sales considerably, but development is still in its ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: