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Paralysis May Be Reversible With PTEN-Deletion Treatment

By: Katie Cordrey - Published:   Updated: May 27 2011 • References: nature and gizmag
Researchers think that spinal nerves damaged by spinal cord injuries may be able to regenerate with PTEN-deletion treatment.

By removing an enzyme called PTEN from a molecular pathway that regulates cell growth, researchers have been able to regenerate nerve connections in mice with spinal injury. The PTEN-deletion treatment holds the promise of a cure for about six million US residents paralyzed by spinal cord injury.

Implications - Steward, who is an anatomy and neurobiology professor and director of the Reeve-Irvine Research Center at UCI, says that "paralysis and loss of function from spinal cord injury has been considered untreatable, but our discovery points the way toward a potential therapy to induce regeneration of nerve connections following spinal cord injury in people.”