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Antibodies and adult stem cells treat paralysis

By Michael Fumento

The New Scientist reports that two antibodies that enabled the severed spinal nerves of rats to be regenerated will be tested in humans. The treatment allowed rodents with damaged spines to walk again, as well as climb ladders and swim. And rats don't even like to swim. The antibodies block the action of Nogo, a protein that stops nerve cells from sprouting new connections.

But researchers think this may not be enough for complete recovery, which is where the research of Geoffrey Raisman at University College London comes in. He has been transplanting stem cells from the back of the nose onto the spinal cords of animals for years and will begin human clinical trials this year. Other doctors have already been using these cells to treat individual patients, claiming to have some success, but they have yet to publish their work.

February 9, 2006 10:50 PM  ·  Stem Cells