Articles Tagged: Neurons
November 19, 2015 | Category: News
It’s a wonder of nature – and a darned good thing – that amid many billions of similar cells in the brain and spinal cord, neurons can extend their tendrillous axons to exactly the right place to form connections. Otherwise we wouldn’t move, sense or think properly, if at all. In a new study in the journal Science, researchers report a discovery that helps to explain how axons manage to find their way across the midline of the spinal cord.
The findings contribute toward solving the basic mystery of axon guidance, but they might also advance scientists a little closer to achieving the medical aspiration of repairing damage in the central nervous system. Continue Reading »
July 2, 2015 | Category: News
Researchers at the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST) have found a way to stimulate the growth of axons, which may spell the dawn of a new beginning on chronic SCI treatments.
Chronic spinal cord injury (SCI) is a formidable hurdle that prevents a large number of injured axons from crossing the lesion, particularly the corticospinal tract (CST). Patients inflicted with SCI would often suffer a loss of mobility, paralysis, and interferes with activities of daily life dramatically. While physical therapy and rehabilitation would help the patients to cope with the aftermath, axonal regrowth potential of injured neurons was thought to be intractable. Continue Reading »
September 4, 2014 | Category: News
In a study on rats, researchers at the University of Copenhagen have discovered the cause of the involuntary muscle contractions which patients with severe spinal cord injuries frequently suffer. The findings have just been published in the Journal of Neuroscience and, in the long run, can pave the way for new treatment methods.
Three thousand Danish patients suffer from severe spinal cord injuries after being involved in traffic accidents or accidents at work. Continue Reading »
May 15, 2014 | Category: News
It all started at a symposium five years ago. Catherine Gorrie, an expert in spinal cord injury, was listening to a presentation about the differences between the developing brains of children and the mature ones of adults when she had an “aah-haa” moment.
“I began to wonder if there is something in the spines of children that could be manipulated for repair,” says Dr Gorrie, a neuroscientist at the University of Technology, Sydney (UTS). It made sense. Dr Gorrie already knew that the more adaptable, or “plastic”, spinal cords of infants responded more efficiently to injury than did those of adults. Continue Reading »
May 1, 2014 | Category: News
NEW YORK, NY (May 1, 2014) —Researchers have identified two types of neurons that enable the spinal cord to control skilled forelimb movement. The first is a group of excitatory interneurons that are needed to make accurate and precise movements; the second is a group of inhibitory interneurons necessary for achieving smooth movement of the limbs. The findings are important steps toward understanding normal human motor function and potentially treating movement disorders that arise from injury or disease. Continue Reading »
April 10, 2014 | Category: News
LONDON, April 10, 2014 — Paralysis caused by a motor neuron disease or spinal cord injury understandably causes feelings of hopelessness, helplessness and despair. But there is optimism in a new technique that can artificially control paralyzed muscles using light.
The technique, developed at University College London and King’s College London could potentially restore the function of muscles afflicted by motor neuron disease or spinal cord injury. Continue Reading »
February 26, 2014 | Category: News
UT Southwestern Medical Center researchers created new nerve cells in the brains and spinal cords of living mammals without the need for stem cell transplants to replenish lost cells.
Although the research indicates it may someday be possible to regenerate neurons from the body’s own cells to repair traumatic brain injury or spinal cord damage or to treat conditions such as Alzheimer’s disease, the researchers stressed that it is too soon to know whether the neurons created in these initial studies resulted in any functional improvements, a goal for future research. Continue Reading »
January 31, 2014 | Category: Answers
Motor commands issued by the brain to activate arm muscles take two different routes. As the research group led by Professor Silvia Arber at the Basel University Biozentrum and the Friedrich Miescher Institute for Biomedical Research has now discovered, many neurons in the spinal cord send their instructions not only towards the musculature, but at the same time also back to the brain via an exquisitely organized network. This dual information stream provides the neural basis for accurate control of arm and hand movements. These findings have now been published in Cell. Continue Reading »
The progress a baby makes in the first year of life is amazing: a newborn can only wave its arms and legs about randomly, but not so long after the baby can reach out and pick up a crumb from the carpet. What happens in the nervous system that enables this change from random waving to finely coordinated movement? Scientists from the Max Planck Institute of Neurobiology in Martinsried near Munich, working with colleagues from New York and Philadelphia, have described a new type of nerve cell in mice which provides a valuable insight into this developmental phenomenon. During embryonic development, the projections from these cells grow from the spinal cord towards the brain. They may pave the way for other nerve cells which control voluntary movement and which only grow from the brain into the spinal cord after birth. Continue Reading »
Finding a solution for brain and spinal cord injury
The Fournier lab at the Montreal Neurological Institute is working to answer a fundamental question: what happens after a nerve cell gets injured? Damage to nerve cells in the central nervous system (CNS), which consists of the brain and the spinal cord, often means permanent damage due to these cells’ limited capacity to repair and regenerate.
Unlike many other cells in the human body, adult nerve cells in the CNS cannot spontaneously repair. Hence, damage to the spinal cord can result in permanent paralysis to the body parts below the site of injury. Continue Reading »