Hans W. Müller, Heinrich-Heine-Universität, Düsseldorf, Germany

Turbocharging axon growth: Releasing the brake and accelerating growth

Funded in: 2009, 2010, 2011

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Spinal cord injury causes persistent functional lost (movement and sensation) through the loss of axonal connections. After the injury, the neurons attempt to regenerate. Even though they have a limited capacity, they are also repulsed by their environmental milieu.

Here, at site of injury of a structure called “fibrous scar” is formed which then acts as a physical barrier to the neurons regeneration.

This research team is planning test a treatment that will boost the regeneration capacity of damaged neurons (SDF-1α treatment) and to combine it with three compounds that have the capacity to suppress (or delay) the fibrous scar development. The most effective combination will then be selected for further studies before validating its “translation” in a clinical setting.