Thursday, May 31, 2012

#MEDICAL: "Spinal Cord Injuries Can Be Repaired"

The École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL, France) claims to have repaired severed spinal cord injuries in rats, and is planning to adapt the technology for use in humans. The new method encourages the nerves to grow back, giving hope to those who may be able to restore lost functionality after a spinal injury: R. Colin Johnson

Here is that EPFL says about restoring spinal cord injuries: Rats with spinal cord injuries and severe paralysis are now walking (and running) thanks to researchers at EPFL. Published in the June 1, 2012 issue of Science, the results show that a severed section of the spinal cord can make a comeback when its own innate intelligence and regenerative capacity—what lead author Grégoire Courtine of EPFL calls the "spinal brain"—is awakened. The study, begun five years ago at the University of Zurich, points to a profound change in our understanding of the central nervous system. It is yet unclear if similar rehabilitation techniques could work for humans, but the observed nerve growth hints at new methods for treating paralysis.
Further Reading