|Nerve regrowth protein identified|
|Thursday, 21 June 2012 13:20|
A protein needed to re-grow injured nerves in limbs has been identified, raising the prospect of new treatments.
The findings, in mice, have implications for helping patients recover from peripheral nerve injuries. They also open up new pathways for investigating how to regenerate neurons in the spinal cord and brain. Peripheral nerves provide the sense of touch and drive the muscles that move the arms, legs and feet.
Unlike central nervous system nerves of the spinal cord, they can regrow after being cut or crushed. But how this happens is still not well understood. Scientists conducting the new research, reported in the journal Neuron, identified a signalling protein that helps switch on the regeneration process.