Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Rat makes a partial recovery following a spinal cord lesion

20.02.2002


Scientists at the Netherlands Institute for Brain Research have developed an experimental therapy which enables rats with a spinal cord lesion to partially recover from their paralysis. Up until now not even the slightest degree of recovery was possible. PhD student Bas Blits was part of this team.



The method uses a combination of transplantation and gene therapy. For the transplantation, the researchers implanted nerve cells cultured in vitro. The cells originated from the nerves between the ribs where they could be missed. Following the transplantation gene therapy has to further stimulate the growth and recovery of the damaged nerve cells. This is done by means of growth stimulating molecules. These neurotrophic factors are naturally present during, for example, the recovery of nerves following a deep cut in the finger. Normally they are not present in large enough quantities in the spinal cord.

Over the next few years the researchers will try to improve their therapy. PhD student Bas Blits will continue his research (with sponsorship from the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research) at the University of Miami, where he will also attempt to implant stem cells instead of the used nerve cells from the fore rib.


The researchers attempted to repair three sorts of spinal cord damage in rats. The first, the dorsal, partial hemisection is comparable to a knife stab in the back in humans. The two most important neural tracts for voluntary movement are severed. In both humans and rats the result is a paralysed lower body. In rats the result is partially paralysed rear legs. After therapy the rat`s walking improved. It appeared that one of the two neural tracts slowly recovered.

The second spinal cord lesion examined by the researchers was the complete transection at the height of the eighth vertebra. The spinal cord is completely severed, comparable in humans to a spinal cord lesion after a violent knife stab in the rib area. Also, this type results in paralysis in the lower part of the body. After the therapy the rat could make some movement with his hind limbs. The scientists are still trying to clarify this because anatomical investigation demonstrated that there was no recovery of the spinal cord lesion.

The third type of damage was ventral root avulsion. In this model the outgoing nerve fibre is torn lose from the spinal cord, for example during a serious motorbike accident. This damage often results in the dying of the affected motor neurones. These are large nerve cells which control movement. After the administration of growth stimulating substances, it appeared that the motor neurones did not die but neither did they regenerate and recover.

Michel Philippens | alphagalileo

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht World first: Massive thrombosis removed during early pregnancy
20.07.2017 | Universitätsspital Bern

nachricht Therapy of preterm birth in sight?
19.07.2017 | Universitätsspital Bern

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Manipulating Electron Spins Without Loss of Information

Physicists have developed a new technique that uses electrical voltages to control the electron spin on a chip. The newly-developed method provides protection from spin decay, meaning that the contained information can be maintained and transmitted over comparatively large distances, as has been demonstrated by a team from the University of Basel’s Department of Physics and the Swiss Nanoscience Institute. The results have been published in Physical Review X.

For several years, researchers have been trying to use the spin of an electron to store and transmit information. The spin of each electron is always coupled...

Im Focus: The proton precisely weighted

What is the mass of a proton? Scientists from Germany and Japan successfully did an important step towards the most exact knowledge of this fundamental constant. By means of precision measurements on a single proton, they could improve the precision by a factor of three and also correct the existing value.

To determine the mass of a single proton still more accurate – a group of physicists led by Klaus Blaum and Sven Sturm of the Max Planck Institute for Nuclear...

Im Focus: On the way to a biological alternative

A bacterial enzyme enables reactions that open up alternatives to key industrial chemical processes

The research team of Prof. Dr. Oliver Einsle at the University of Freiburg's Institute of Biochemistry has long been exploring the functioning of nitrogenase....

Im Focus: The 1 trillion tonne iceberg

Larsen C Ice Shelf rift finally breaks through

A one trillion tonne iceberg - one of the biggest ever recorded -- has calved away from the Larsen C Ice Shelf in Antarctica, after a rift in the ice,...

Im Focus: Laser-cooled ions contribute to better understanding of friction

Physics supports biology: Researchers from PTB have developed a model system to investigate friction phenomena with atomic precision

Friction: what you want from car brakes, otherwise rather a nuisance. In any case, it is useful to know as precisely as possible how friction phenomena arise –...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Closing the Sustainability Circle: Protection of Food with Biobased Materials

21.07.2017 | Event News

»We are bringing Additive Manufacturing to SMEs«

19.07.2017 | Event News

The technology with a feel for feelings

12.07.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

NASA looks to solar eclipse to help understand Earth's energy system

21.07.2017 | Earth Sciences

Stanford researchers develop a new type of soft, growing robot

21.07.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering

Vortex photons from electrons in circular motion

21.07.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>