Posted on May 28, 2014, 6 a.m.
Inactivation of a key molecule promotes nerves to grow faster and restore their connections to each other.
A team from the University of Calgary (Canada) has identified a mechanism to promote growth in damaged nerve cells as a means to restore connections after injury. By inactivating a key molecule that directly regulates nerve cell growth in the damaged nervous system, the researchers were able to coax nerves to grow faster, and restore their connections to each other. The study holds promise for applications to restore nerve-impulse continuity following CNS (central nervous system) nerve damage, as well as to treat peripheral nerve disorders including diabetic neuropathy, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson's disease, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), and more.
Christie KJ, Krishnan A, Martinez JA, Purdy K, Singh B, Eaton S, Zochodne D. "Enhancing adult nerve regeneration through the knockdown of retinoblastoma protein." Nat Commun. 2014 Apr 22;5:3670.