A research team co-led by City University of Hong Kong (CityU) and The University of Hong Kong (HKU) has recently made a significant advancement in spinal cord injury treatment by using genetically modified human neural stem cells (hNSCs). They found that specifically modulating a gene expression to a certain level in hNSCs can effectively promote the reconstruction of damaged neural circuits and restore locomotor functions, offering great potential for new therapeutic opportunities for patients with spinal cord injury.
Traumatic spinal cord injury is a devastating condition that commonly results from accidents such as falls, car crashes or sport-related injuries. Spinal neurons with long axons play critical roles in transmitting signals between the brain and the rest of the body, controlling our movement and sensory perception. Spinal cord injury causes irreversible damage to neurons and axons, which significantly interrupts signal transmission, hence leading to defective locomotion and somatosensory functions.