Injections of a new drug may partially relieve paralyzing spinal cord injuries, based on indications from a study in rats, which was partly funded by the National Institutes of Health.
The results demonstrate how fundamental laboratory research may lead to new therapies.
“We’re very excited at the possibility that millions of people could, one day, regain movements lost during spinal cord injuries,” said Jerry Silver, Ph.D., professor of neurosciences, Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine, Cleveland, and a senior investigator of the study published in Nature.
Every year, tens of thousands of people are paralyzed by spinal cord injuries. The injuries crush and sever the long axons of spinal cord nerve cells, blocking communication between the brain and the body and resulting in paralysis below the injury.
On a hunch, Bradley Lang, Ph.D., the lead author of the study and a graduate student in Dr. Silver’s lab, came up with the idea of designing a drug that would help axons regenerate without having to touch the healing spinal cord, as current treatments may require.
“Originally this was just a side project we brainstormed in the lab,” said Dr. Lang.
After spinal cord injury, axons try to cross the injury site and reconnect with other cells but are stymied by scarring that forms after the injury. Previous studies suggested their movements are blocked when the protein tyrosine phosphatase sigma (PTP sigma), an enzyme found in axons, interacts with chondroitin sulfate proteoglycans, a class of sugary proteins that fill the scars.
Dr. Lang and his colleagues designed a drug called ISP to block the enzyme and facilitate the drug’s entry into the brain and spinal cord. Injections of the drug under the skin of paralyzed rats near the injury site partially restored axon growth and improved movements and bladder functions.
“There are currently no drug therapies available that improve the very limited natural recovery from spinal cord injuries that patients experience,” said Lyn Jakeman, Ph.D., a program director at the NIH’s National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, Bethesda, MD. “This is a great step towards identifying a novel agent for helping people recover.”
Initially, the goal of the study was to understand how interactions between PTP sigma and chondroitin sulfate proteoglycans prevent axon growth. Drugs were designed to mimic the shape of a critical part of PTP sigma, called the wedge. Different designs were tested on neurons grown in petri dishes alongside impenetrable barriers of proteoglycans. Treatment with ISP freed axon growth.
“It was amazing. The axons kept growing and growing,” said Dr. Silver.
The Latest on: Spinal cord injury
via Google News
The Latest on: Spinal cord injury
- The data set development for the National Spinal Cord Injury Registry of Iran (NSCIR-IR): progress toward improving the quality of careon March 24, 2020 at 3:42 am
The aim of this manuscript is to describe the development process of the data set for the National Spinal Cord Injury Registry of Iran (NSCIR-IR). The NSCIR-IR data set was developed in 8 months, from ...
- Michael Fatialofa walking unaided as recovery from spinal injury continueson March 20, 2020 at 5:07 pm
The Worcester lock has been in hospital since suffering a serious neck injury in his team’s defeat to Saracens in January ...
- Visuo-motor and interoceptive influences on peripersonal space representation following spinal cord injuryon March 20, 2020 at 3:08 am
Peripersonal space (PPS) representation is modulated by information coming from the body. In paraplegic individuals, whose lower limb sensory-motor functions are impaired or completely lost, the ...
- New technologies for individuals with spinal cord injuries and debilitating diseaseson March 18, 2020 at 3:20 pm
This is an incredible breakthrough for hospitals, spinal cord injury units and rehabilitation centers as the autonoME Hospital is the world’s first device that not only offers AAC and ECU tools but ...
- Chronic Spinal Cord Injury Analysis, Market Size, Epidemiology, Leading Companies and Competitive Analysis By DelveInsighton March 18, 2020 at 9:02 am
DelveInsight has launched a new report on chronic spinal cord injury Market Insights, Epidemiology and Market Forecast-2030 DelveInsight's "Chronic spinal cord injury Epidemiology Forecast to 2030" ...
- Researchers identify protein critical for wound healing after spinal cord injuryon March 17, 2020 at 8:45 am
Plexin-B2, an axon guidance protein in the central nervous system (CNS), plays an important role in wound healing and neural repair following spinal cord injury (SCI), according to research conducted ...
- New recommendations for evaluation of bladder and bowel dysfunction after spinal cord injuryon March 12, 2020 at 1:22 pm
Among the many challenges to independence and quality of life after spinal cord injury, two complications have emerged as top priorities for researchers - neurogenic bowel and neurogenic bladder. With ...
- New strategies for managing bowel and bladder dysfunction after spinal cord injuryon March 12, 2020 at 11:19 am
Among the many challenges to independence and quality of life after spinal cord injury, two complications have emerged as top priorities for researchers—neurogenic bowel and neurogenic bladder. With ...
- Inside Wings for Life: the charity aiming to cure spinal cord injuryon March 11, 2020 at 5:21 pm
He hopes to become the first quadriplegic to summit Everest (8,848m). Jackson is one of more than 2.5 million people worldwide to have suffered a devastating spinal cord injury (SCI) – a uniquely ...
- Spinal Devices Market To Reach USD 15.83 Billion By 2027 | Medtronic, DePuy Synthes, Stryker, Zimmer Biomet, NuVasive Inc., Alphatec Spine Incon March 11, 2020 at 3:38 am
According to the World health Organization (WHO), each year, globally, around 250,000 and 500,000 individuals suffer a spinal cord injury. Preventable causes, including road traffic accidents, falls, ...
via Bing News