More MS news articles for March 2001

Study Shows Promise for Repairing Spinal Cord

ByKeith W. Murrow
Health24News Staff Writer

WASHINGTON - Scientist record new advancements in their quest to repair damaged spinal cords and restore nerve impulses.

According to a new report in the journal Nature scientist were able to transplant cells from nerve tissue into rats, repairing damage spinal cords. The discovery opens the door to the possibility of finding a treatment for the degenerative nerve disease multiple sclerosis (MS) and even paralysis.

Researchers from Yale University used rats, whose spinal cords lacked a protective layer of cells called Schwann cells. The cells are necessary for the transportation of electrical impulses across the nerve and throughout the body. The researchers then transplanted Schwann cells from limbs of humans who had their appendages amputated to the spinal cords of the rats.

Scientist found that not only did the cells grow on the spinal cord, but electrical transmission across the nerves reach near normal levels.

Study authors are planning clinical trials were MS patients own Schwann cells are transplanted into their brains in the hopes that the cells will re-coat the nerves that are lacking. They also hope that future test will allow the transplant of the cells into the spinal cavities of paralyzed patients, in the hopes the cells will regenerate spinal cord never fibers.