Lab-Grown Neurons Could Help Heal Spinal Injuries and Restore Movement
The spinal cord is a rope of nerves relaying messages from the brain to every organ, muscle, and nerve ending in the body. a team of California researchers announced the successful production of a lab-grown neuron that could help heal spinal cord injuries by reestablishing the connection between brain and muscle.
It’s one cell stretching out up to 1,000 times longer than a normal human cell. These outstretched neurons, as long as several centimeters, seem to play a critical role in relaying messages along the spinal cord. So if they are damaged in a traumatic injury, the brain-muscle connection may be severed, potentially leading to paralysis.
But if those critical V2a interneurons could be regenerated in an injured spine, the researchers wondered, perhaps the spinal cord could re-establish the connection and heal itself.