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.â€
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