News FocusNeuroscience

Animal Studies Raise Hopes for Spinal Cord Repair

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Science  12 Jul 2002:
Vol. 297, Issue 5579, pp. 178-181
DOI: 10.1126/science.297.5579.178

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In the past few years, scientists have proved that they can regenerate damaged spinal nerves, at least in rodents, enabling the animals to walk more normally and regain some primitive forms of sensation. Aided by a much better understanding of the mechanisms that normally block neuronal regrowth, nearly a dozen research teams have recently reported in prominent journals ways of promoting such regeneration. Indeed, neurobiologists hope to take the next step--moving their findings to the clinic--although they caution that, with possibly one or two exceptions, it will be at least a few years before these therapies are tested in human patients.