Scientists Inch Closer Toward Using Stem Cells for Spinal Injuries
THURSDAY, Aug. 7, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- In a step toward using stem cells to treat paralysis, scientists were able to use cells from an elderly man's skin to regrow nerve connections in rats with damaged spinal cords.
Reporting in the Aug. 7 online issue of Neuron, researchers say the human stem cells triggered the growth of numerous axons -- the fibers that extend from the body of a neuron (nerve cell) to send electrical impulses to other cells.
Some axons even reached the animals' brains, according to the team led by Dr. Mark Tuszynski, a professor of neurosciences at the University of California, San Diego.
"This degree of growth in axons has not been appreciated before," Tuszynski said. But he cautioned that there is still much to be learned about how the new nerve fibers behave in laboratory animals.Read entire article...