Friday, November 17, 2023

Study on Mice with Spinal Cord Injury: Gene Therapy allows Restoration of Movement

     Badly injured spinal cords in mice have been able to be restored to mobility by the use of gene therapy. In the study, mice with severed spinal cords were looked at. Spinal cord injuries disrupt actions such as movement and scientists have found that nerve fibers alone don't help regain movement, as it only regenerates the injuries. Scientists have found that the motor function as well as locomotion in mice has returned with gene therapy because this therapy helps new fibers connect to the correct spots on the other side of the lesion. That being said, this only works with partial damage not for complete spinal cord injuries. Gene therapy allows for a specific neuron to reconnect natural targets to restore mobility using multi-pronged gene therapy. once the neurons were reconnected, there needed to be growth activation to help the nerve fibers regenerate by also inputting supporting proteins and guidance molecules to help with this process.

     This was really interesting because of how just this type of therapy alone can make mice regain movement. Spinal cord injuries are very dangerous because of the risks that arise. But this therapy opens doors to people who have suffered from partial damage to regain most, if not all, of their mobility back. according to Northwestern Now Staff, less than about 3% of people who have suffered from complete spinal cord injuries have recovered minimal, if not basic movement. With gene therapy in the works, it adds incredible information and promise in the science and medical world and this might just be the beginning of something bigger.


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