After a SCI, damaged nerve axons in the cord fail to spontaneously regenerate, resulting in paralysis. Most studies have examined nerve regeneration one to eight weeks after injury: this is useful, but does not help with the treatment of long-established injuries, which the majority of people with SCI live with.
In a groundbreaking development, Dr Tuszynski’s team have now reported successful regeneration of adult nerve axons when treatment is initiated as long as 15 months after injury – via a combination of therapies that aim to modify cell mechanisms which inhibit regeneration.
These findings provide compelling evidence that regeneration is achievable at unprecedented post-injury time points. This is an essential step forward in our quest to help people who are currently living with paralysis.