Scientists discover method for healing spinal chord injuries in rats

01-02-2010

Czech scientists at the Institute for Experimental Medicine have succeeded in healing chronic spinal chord injuries in rats. The team discovered that new nerve fibres could be generated by injecting hydrogel with stem cells into the injured area. The treatment resulted in the rats’ mobility being improved and the feeling returned to their hind legs within six months. The scientists now hope to be able to test the method on humans, who are often left immobilised by such injuries. The particular benefit of the discovery is that only a small number of patients are able to undergo other stem cell treatments within sufficient time of their injury. Clinical tests are expected to be run on the hydrogel within the year, after which time it can be tested on humans.