Role of adaptor protein CD2AP in neuron sprouting discovered by UofL researchers could lead to therapies for Alzheimer’s disease, stroke recovery and spinal cord injury
University of Louisville researchers have discovered that a protein previously known for its role in kidney function also plays a significant role in the nervous system. In an article featured in the April 13 issue of The Journal of Neuroscience, they show that the adaptor protein CD2AP is a key player in a type of neural growth known as collateral sprouting. Continue Reading »
Following spinal cord injury, most patients experience an exaggeration of muscle tone called spasticity, which frequently leads to physical disability.
A team at the Institut de Neurosciences de la Timone (CNRS/Aix-Marseille Université) has just identified one of the molecular mechanisms responsible for this phenomenon. It has also proposed two therapeutic solutions that have proved conclusive in animals, one of which will be tested during phase II clinical trials as early as this year. This work, published in Nature Medicineon 14 March 2016, thus opens new therapeutic avenues to reduce this physical disability.
Twelve million people throughout the world suffer from a motor disorder called spasticity. Continue Reading »
Injuries to the central nervous system — the brain and spinal cord — are particularly devastating because the body doesn’t regenerate neurons to repair connections between vital circuits and restore function. In other words, the damage is permanent or even fatal.
A variety of early studies in animals and humans indicate the field of neural regeneration research is advancing. A 20-year-old man in Naples, Florida recently enrolled in the first clinical trial to assess the ability of stem cells to repair spinal cord injuries. But, a team of scientists from McGill University in Montreal, Canada, are working an entirely different method to inject hope into an otherwise bleak prognosis. Continue Reading »
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 »
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 »
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 »
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 »
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 »
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 »