Scientists from University of California have developed new technique for regeneration of injured nerve cells which could help in the treatment of spinal cord injuries, the researchers have got interesting results in the stimulation of nerve cells in laboratory rats, which has been reported in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
Nerve cells has the capacity to grow when it is young and doesnot grow when it has become old, the Central Nervous system (CNS) consists of brain and spinal cord which does not regenerate when it is injured and the Peripheral nervous system (PNS) consists of a network of nerve fibers that extends throughout the body which, has the capacity to grow and regain its function even after an injury.
Regeneration occurs because PNS cell bodies are sensitive to damage to their nerve processes, and they react by sending out a signal that triggers the nerve fibers to regrow.
The researchers adopted the techniques used in PNS regeneration for the regeneration of CNS nerve cells by using the effect of two peripheral nerve lesions (injuries) in animals with spinal cord injury. One lesion was made at the time of the cord injury and a second was made a week later. Both lesions were located in the animals' sciatic nerve, which is part of the PNS.
The researchers feel that getting the growth beyond the lesion is very important and it is possible if the axons is made to grow even a few centimeters past the lesion, they can start sending signals and developing new circuits throughout the body and the nervous system is capable of being modified to a level where we can achieve nerve fiber growth and can lead to promote growth and sustain it long enough for recovery of movement to occur in spinal cord injury patients.