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Friday, April 07, 2006

Recent Breakthrough in Medicine Thanks to Animal Research!

Potential Future Treatments for Spinal Cord Injuries

When spinal cord injuries occur, the nerves that are injured can cause further damage to healthy neurons due to a process called demyelination. But studies conducted by scientists on 97 rats found that transplantation of specific cells of the rats own brain soon after the injury (two weeks), led to a gain in coordination and the ability to bear weight on their hind limbs. While previous studies have shown similar results, the difference is that embryonic cells weren’t used but the animals own neural precursor cells.

The animals didn’t recover the ability to walk completely normal, but the results were very promising. They hope that this could also be done in humans one day. One current obstacle for these scientists though, is finding a way to treat those who have been paralyzed for much longer than 2 weeks. When the researchers transplanted the cells in mice with 8 week old injuries, they didn’t see the marked improvement in the mice they had seen with the transplants at 2 weeks. Looks like the researchers will have their work cut out for them, but thanks to their hard work and dedication, maybe it will lead to a treatment for paralysis one day!

The original journal article is:
J Neurosci. (March 29 2006) 26(13):3377-89 Delayed transplantation of adult neural precursor cells promotes remyelination and functional neurological recovery after spinal cord injury. Karimi-Abdolrezaee S, Eftekharpour E, Wang J, Morshead CM, Fehlings MG.

posted by Kristina Cook at 3:15 PM  

About the author

Kristina Cook Name: Kristina Cook

Location: Oxford, United Kingdom

My name is Kristina Cook and I am a first year DPhil (PhD) student in a mix of Chemistry/Biochemistry and Pharmacology at Oxford University. I am 23 years old. I just moved to Oxford from Washington DC, where I lived for two months as part of the graduate program I am in. Before this I had lived in San Diego, California for five years where I went to San Diego State University for my undergraduate education. In those five years I had the opportunity to further my science education by working for a wonderful small biotech/pharmaceutical company for three years, in the in-vitro pharmacology department. I also worked in an academic lab in synthetic chemistry, for two years. I am now out in Oxford, researching cancer angiogenesis, specifically some of the proteins involved, and looking for potential new ways of treating cancer.

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This page has been set up to promote scientific research and show support for animal research conducted ethically and intelligently. Recent news in science, discussions on science and animal research and guest writings by fellow scientists are just a few of the things you can expect to find here. Build the Oxford Lab!


Why Animal Research is Important AND Needed: A Copy of the Speech I Gave on the February 25th Demonstration
Facts about Animal Research
The Dawn of a New Age: Standing up, Proud and Tall, For Animal Research and The Oxford Lab
Standing Up for Science

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