New Breakthrough in Spinal Cord Injury Treatment: Gene Therapy Restores Mobility in Mice
Scientists at NeuroRestore in Switzerland have made a significant breakthrough in the treatment of spinal cord injuries with the development of a gene therapy that stimulates nerve regrowth. The therapy has been proven to restore mobility in mice with spinal cord injuries by guiding nerves to reconnect with their natural targets.
Previous studies have shown that nerve fibers can be regenerated in spinal cord injuries; however, they often fail to connect to the correct places on the other side of the injury. To address this challenge, the scientists collaborated with researchers from UCLA and Harvard Medical School. Using state-of-the-art equipment, they were able to identify the specific neurons involved in spinal cord repair after partial injuries.
Building upon this knowledge, the scientists developed a multipronged gene therapy approach. This treatment activates growth programs in the neurons, upregulates specific proteins, and administers guidance molecules. The combination of these techniques resulted in mice with complete spinal cord injuries regaining the ability to walk. These mice exhibited gait patterns similar to those observed in mice with partial injuries.
The researchers emphasize that a complete solution for treating spinal cord injuries will likely require both gene therapy and spinal stimulation. While challenges still exist, this significant breakthrough represents the first steps towards developing technology for human application.
The findings of this breakthrough study, titled “Recovery of walking after paralysis by regenerating characterized neurons to their natural target region,” have been published in the prestigious scientific journal Science. This publication further underscores the significance and potential impact of the research conducted by the scientists at NeuroRestore, UCLA, and Harvard Medical School.
Spinal cord injuries often result in devastating and life-altering consequences. The ability to restore mobility and independence for individuals living with these injuries would revolutionize their quality of life. With further development and refinement, this gene therapy could hold promise for human patients suffering from spinal cord injuries.
The team at NeuroRestore is now focusing on addressing the remaining obstacles in order to bring this potentially life-changing technology closer to clinical trials. Their groundbreaking research brings hope to the millions of people around the world who have been affected by spinal cord injuries, offering the possibility of a brighter future.