"Get your facts first, and then you can distort them as much as you please." (Mark Twain)
Tuesday, September 20, 2005
A new study shows that human stem cells injected into mice can repair damaged spinal cords and help partially paralyzed mice walk again.
Although many questions remain unanswered, the research raises the hope of using stem cells to help people with spinal cord injuries.
"We're very excited about these stem cells," said Aileen Anderson of the Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at the University of California, Irvine. "We're really on the cusp of making some big leaps forward."
Previous research has suggested that human stem cells can help rodents recover from spinal injuries. But the new study marks the first time that scientists have shown that human stem cells make connections with the nervous systems of the mice and are thus key to recovery from spinal cord injuries.
The findings are reported today in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.