Navigation Links
In breakthrough, nerve connections are regenerated after spinal cord injury
Date:8/8/2010

Irvine, Calif. Researchers for the first time have induced robust regeneration of nerve connections that control voluntary movement after spinal cord injury, showing the potential for new therapeutic approaches to paralysis and other motor function impairments.

In a study on rodents, the UC Irvine, UC San Diego and Harvard University team achieved this breakthrough by turning back the developmental clock in a molecular pathway critical for the growth of corticospinal tract nerve connections.

They did this by deleting an enzyme called PTEN (a phosphatase and tensin homolog), which controls a molecular pathway called mTOR that is a key regulator of cell growth. PTEN activity is low early during development, allowing cell proliferation. PTEN then turns on when growth is completed, inhibiting mTOR and precluding any ability to regenerate.

Trying to find a way to restore early-developmental-stage cell growth in injured tissue, Zhigang He, a senior neurology researcher at Children's Hospital Boston and Harvard Medical School, first showed in a 2008 study that blocking PTEN in mice enabled the regeneration of connections from the eye to the brain after optic nerve damage.

He then partnered with Oswald Steward of UCI and Binhai Zheng of UCSD to see if the same approach could promote nerve regeneration in injured spinal cord sites. Results of their study appear online in Nature Neuroscience.

"Until now, such robust nerve regeneration has been impossible in the spinal cord," said Steward, anatomy & neurobiology professor and director of the Reeve-Irvine Research Center at UCI. "Paralysis and loss of function from spinal cord injury has been considered untreatable, but our discovery points the way toward a potential therapy to induce regeneration of nerve connections following spinal cord injury in people."

According to Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation data, about 2 percent of Americans have some form of paralysis resulting from spinal cord injury, which is due primarily to the interruption of connections between the brain and spinal cord.

An injury the size of a grape can lead to complete loss of function below the level of injury. For example, an injury to the neck can cause paralysis of arms and legs, loss of ability to feel below the shoulders, inability to control the bladder and bowel, loss of sexual function, and secondary health risks including susceptibility to urinary tract infections, pressure sores and blood clots due to an inability to move the legs.

"These devastating consequences occur even though the spinal cord below the level of injury is intact," Steward noted. "All these lost functions could be restored if we could find a way to regenerate the connections that were damaged."

He and his colleagues are now studying whether the PTEN-deletion treatment leads to actual restoration of motor function in mice with spinal cord injury. Further research will explore the optimal timeframe and drug-delivery system for the therapy.


'/>"/>

Contact: Tom Vasich
tmvasich@uci.edu
949-824-6455
University of California - Irvine
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. SpiderTech Announces Kinesiology Tape Breakthrough, SpiderTech Gentle – Kinesiology Tape for Even the Most Sensitive Skin
2. $1.9 million grant to help UCF find multiple sclerosis nerve-ana
3. New UCSF Studies Reveal that Age-Related Nerve Decline is Associated with Inflammation and Differs by Gender
4. Study: Mechanomyography to be accurate in detecting nerves during minimally invasive spine surgery
5. Youth define spirituality in terms of positive behaviors, connections
6. Strategic Connections Ranks 90th Fastest-Growing Technology Company in North America and 14th in Canada
7. Announcing the Evolution of Provider Placement Methodology – EPIC Connections
8. Strategic Connections Inc. (SCI) Announces Market Expansion and New Brand
9. New tool illuminates connections between stem cells and cancer
10. Women Can Safely Get Pregnant Right After Miscarriage, Study Shows
11. New imaging technique could help physicians ease the aftermath of breast cancer
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:6/23/2017)... (PRWEB) , ... June 23, 2017 , ... Ulster University, ... June, 2017 from 9 am to 3 pm to present to graduate students exciting ... is an original curriculum project led by The Health Improvement Service of the ...
(Date:6/23/2017)... (PRWEB) , ... June 23, 2017 , ... ... business owners in the Houston area with access to asset protection and financial ... regional charity event aimed at improving the lives of children with cancer and ...
(Date:6/22/2017)... ... June 22, 2017 , ... Children’s ... American Heart Association (AHA) to launch a Rheumatic Heart Disease Center, with the ... diagnosis of rheumatic heart disease (RHD) in high-risk, financially disadvantaged countries and low-income ...
(Date:6/22/2017)... ... June 23, 2017 , ... ... fight against hunger on June 21, 2017, at the Emeryville Center of Community ... and malnutrition around the world. , Rise Against Hunger (formerly Stop Hunger Now) ...
(Date:6/20/2017)... (PRWEB) , ... June 20, 2017 , ... ... health science curriculum , is pleased to announce a new online course entitled ... online course provides practical insights and evidence-based strategies for achieving optimal well-being and ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:6/2/2017)... 2017  NxStage Medical, Inc. (Nasdaq:  NXTM), a leading medical technology ... findings demonstrating positive biochemical outcomes related to more frequent ... data will be presented at the ERA-EDTA Congress being ... . The research was conducted ... in Europe (KIHDNEy) Cohort ...
(Date:5/30/2017)... 2017 Therapix Biosciences Ltd. (Nasdaq: TRPX), ... the development of cannabinoid-based drugs, today announced that ... at three upcoming scientific and investor conferences in ... Invitational: ...                     Wednesday, June ...
(Date:5/24/2017)... , May 24, 2017  ivWatch LLC ... Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) Board to enable seamless integration ... patient monitoring systems, infusion pumps and other devices. ... will be able to help health care customers ... reduced risks related to IV therapy. ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: