During birth or following a traffic accident, nerves in the neck can be torn out of the spinal cord. As a result, these patients lose their arm function, and are unable to perform daily activities such as drinking a cup of coffee. Currently, surgical repair is the only available treatment for patients suffering this kind of nerve damage. "After surgery, nerve fibers have to bridge many centimeters before reaching the muscles and nerve cells from which new fibers need to regenerate are lost in large numbers. Most regenerating nerve fiber do not reach the muscles. The recovery of arm function is therefore disappointing and incomplete," explains researcher Ruben Eggers of the NIN.
By combining neurosurgical repair with gene therapy in rats, many of the dying nerve cells can be rescued and nerve fiber growth in the direction of the muscle can be stimulated.
Study - Researchers - Gene - Therapy - Growth
In this study, the researchers used regulatable gene therapy with a growth factor that could be switched on and off by using...
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