Spinal cord injuries lead to permanent paralysis, and unfortunately there isn’t much that doctors can do to repair the damage. But a new study may help improve the outcomes, with researchers from the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA) showing in tests in mice that injections of a porous scaffold material can help the body patch up the damage.
The body is naturally good at repairing many injuries, but it struggles with some of the most important ones. Axons, the nerve fibers that carry electrical signals around the body, cannot regenerate themselves after injury, which is what can make spinal injuries so debilitating. One of the major problems is caused by immune cells flooding to the site after the injury. This leads to the formation of scar tissue, which can prevent axons from reconnecting.
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