Damien D. Pearse, The Miami Project to Cure Paralysis, Miami, USA

Healing from within: Activation of stem cells that originate within our own body to repair the injured spinal cord

Funded in: 2009, 2010, 2011

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Delayed (secondary) tissue damage enlarges the extent of primary damage after spinal cord tissue thereby contributing significantly to permanent functional disabilities. Preventing or minimizing such secondary damage can be expected to substantially reduce the functional disability that occurs after SCI. This project will test the protective effect of two combined treatments: Rolipram together with Valproate. This protective effect could help saving neurons, meaning important functions such as movement or sensation.

In vitro work is also suggesting that these two drugs could have an additional effect. Rolipram and Valproate might increase the number of endogenous neural precursor cells, thereby boosting the stem cells that are naturally present within the spinal cord.