Noah J Nelson on Tuesday, Mar. 4th
Head and spinal trauma are especially damaging because medical science hasn’t had a reliable way to replace neurons, the critical biological cell that transmits information. Now researchers at UT Southwestern Medical Center have created found a way to generate new neurons in living mammals without using stem cells.
Spinal cord injuries can lead to an irreversible loss of neurons, and along with scarring, can ultimately lead to impaired motor and sensory functions. Scientists are hopeful that regenerating cells can be an avenue to repair damage, but adult spinal cords have limited ability to produce new neurons. Biomedical scientists have transplanted stem cells to replace neurons, but have faced other hurdles, underscoring the need for new methods of replenishing lost cells.
Science is a long way from using this as a therapy for Alzheimer’s and other neurological related problems, but this kind of breakthrough gives hope that quality of life may one day be as extensible as term of life currently is.