Stem Cells Repair Damaged Spinal Cord Tissue in Mice
A team of international researchers have successfully deployed stem cells to treat damaged spinal cord tissue in mice. The results may go on to influence development in spinal cord treatment.
By mixing a specific type of stem cell—the ependymal cell—with other and more mature cells, researchers have been able to kick-start recovery in mice by accelerating growth of healthy scar tissue and support-cells that are important to the functionality of the spinal cord.
Though promising, the stem cell research has not yet shown complete restoration of spinal cord functionality. Rather than finding the final solutions, explains professor Jonas Frisén (Sw.) who is leading the research team, the study has delineated an area in which to search for them.
“One interesting question now is whether pharmaceutical compounds can be identified to stimulate the stem cells to form more support-cells,” he says in a press release (Sw.)
According to the Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation, approximately 1,275,000 U.S. citizens are suffering from some form of spinal cord paralysis. Most spinal cord traumas hit males between 15 and 35 years old and result in either paralysis or death.
This year, Karolinska Institutet is celebrating its 200-years anniversary.
If you would like to learn more about stem cells and cell-division, here’s a very informative video (it is a little boring):