Weizmann Institute scientists reveal key part of nerve regeneration mechanism
A new study conducted by Weizmann Institute scientists has now uncovered a key process leading to the regeneration of peripheral nerves. Nerves in the peripheral nervous system (any part of the body aside from the brain and spinal cord) are capable of regenerating, though often they do so poorly or slowly. Scientists have been trying to understand how they regenerate in order to better treat damage to the peripheral nervous system.
In addition, knowing how these neurons regenerate could provide insights into fixing neurons in the central nervous system where damage is irreversible.
Nerve cells are uniquely shaped, consisting of a cell body from which a long "arm," called an axon, extends. Axons can reach up to one meter in length and are the main conduit for nerve communication throughout our bodies, by conveying electric signals to muscles or other cells. Due to their great length, axons, like electrical or telecommunications lines, are vulnerable to damage. When a power line goes down in a storm, monitoring systems raise the alarm and repair crews are dispatched to the site. How does an axon raise the alarm after damage in our own bodies?
Alex Smith | EurekAlert!
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