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Coaxing Injured Nerves to Regrow

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    Coaxing Injured Nerves to Regrow

    Coaxing Injured Nerves to Regrow

    By Greg Miller
    ScienceNOW Daily News
    6 November 2008

    The adult central nervous system has limited ability to repair itself. That's why spinal cord injuries leave people permanently paralyzed. Now a study with mice finds that removing a particular signaling molecule in adult neurons restores their ability to regenerate damaged axons, the long extensions that convey signals from one neuron to another. The find potentially paves the way for repairing spinal cords and other nervous system injuries. "It's one of the most dramatic results in the history of this field," says Ben Barres, a neurobiologist at Stanford University in Palo Alto, California.
    Researchers suspect that adult nerves don't regenerate for two reasons: One, neurons have lost the flexibility they had at about the time of birth, when the brain was still developing; two, compounds near the site of injury inhibit axon growth. A great deal of research has focused on identifying and blocking these compounds, but so far these manipulations have prompted only limited regrowth, says Zhigang He, a neurobiologist at Children's Hospital Boston and Harvard Medical School. In the new study, He and his colleagues searched for a way to help neurons recapture their youthful ability to grow new axons.


    Good catch, thanks for the repost and link.