Movement Restored In Paralyzed Mice Through Stem Cell Therapy

There have been a lot of wonders that modern day science has given to the mankind. At this day and age when the technology has become so advanced, people look forward that the modern day science will have an answer to all the questions that they have and it is indeed that they have gotten a whole lot answers in terms to the different questions that they had in mind. It is being thought for long that the people who are once paralyzed cannot move and that is their fate till they die because the nerves once damaged do not regenerate and that is why these individuals lose the motor and the sensory responses in their limbs, and the loss of the motor response in the limbs lead to the loss of the muscle power and tone and that leads to the paralysis of the musculature. This problem which can be caused by a severe trauma to the specific nerves supplying that limb can cause a person to be paralyzed and that is why this is considered one of the horrors in the world of medical sciences and there are a lot of people who are suffering their lives without any movement at all.

In recent years there has been a major advancement to help cure this problem so that the individuals who are suffering from the paralysis can now walk and move for the first time in their life. The scientists have taken the help of the embryonic stem cells and with the help of which they are able to form the new and functional nerve cells and connections in a mice that was paralyzed and through which they were able to restore the movement in that specific limb that was paralyzed. This is a test that was conducted on mice and that has open a new horizon in the world of people that is bleak because of the fact that they know that there is nothing that can help them and that they have to live the life as they are and this has just put them to close themselves in the dark rooms inside themselves. In this situation where there was no hope, this research has emerged as a light where these people can see that it is not far away when they will be able to move and live a normal life.

It is now being thought that as these tests have shown positive results in the individuals who have been suffering from the paralyzed condition will be able to live a normal life and this stem cell grafts will help the people who are suffering from spinal cord injuries, Parkinson’s disease, as well as other crippling diseases that affect the neurological system of an individual. The scientists said that this was something that they have been working on for about more than 30 years and this has finally given them a big breakthrough in which they can proceed their work further in hopes that in the span of some years they will be able to find a way to treat the individuals who are suffering from the neurological conditions that cripple them totally.

The scientists said that they now know as to what is the right combination of things that are needed to build the nerve cells on and they are hoping that millions of people throughout the world will find a new life with the research that they are currently doing and this will ultimately be something that the mankind has been needing for a long long time. The researcher also added that they have now got the principle on which they will build the things on and this will prove to be the key to unlock the facts that have been hidden from us for a long time.

The researchers said that there had been numerous studies that have been carried out knowing the fact that the nerves can be developed through the stem cells but the major block that the researches had been going through have been to develop the motor neurons to make functional connections to the muscles that had been stopping them from getting into the right direction where they would be able to learn as to how this process runs in its complete form and now they have made a big breakthrough in that.

The researchers said that if we are to make things simple, there are motor neurons in the spinal cord and when the movement is desired in a muscle the brain relays the message to the motor neuron in the spinal cord and then that motor neuron relays out the axons and reaches to the muscle and makes it contract through the impulses that it carries, but this process that is seemingly pretty simple in the layman terms is not that simple because it requires a lot of complex growth factors, chemicals that signal at each individual process and this movement happens at the level of the muscle. So everything needs to be put in the right order so as to maintain the right direction or else this entire research leads into the wrong direction where the results are not achieved and things finally go in waste.

The researchers said that they have find the exact combination that was required to develop the nerve cells and during the research process there were a lot of challenges that they had to face and they went through one by one and were able to accomplish the task that was there in front of them to achieve, which was defined as a first goal to achieve the bigger goal and that is where they have to go by accepting all the challenges that are going to come their way.

It all started in the laboratory when they used specific growth factors to cause the embryonic stem cells in the mouse to develop into the motor neurons. After that phase was accomplished, the researchers added the chemicals known as retinoic acid as well as sonic hedgehog protein, which helped those cells to provide an environment that was similar to the spinal cord. Then they transferred these cells into the spinal cord of the mice that was paralyzed with a viral infection. The challenge that the scientists faced was that there was a protein that was inhibiting the growth of the axons from growing and those proteins are linked to the myelin sheath that is protecting the nerve fibers, so in order to overcome the resistance, the scientists added two agents, one was the cyclic AMP and the other was the rolipram, which was a drug and then due to these two substances the axons started to grow.

Getting the axons to grow was one big breakthrough but to give these axons a destination to go from one place to another was something that was needed because they had to reach to that specific muscle to where they belong to supply the stimulus to contract. Therefore, they made a powerful neutral growth factor, which is known as GDNF near the dead sciatic nerve cells to make the connection and this worked out and with this strategy they were able to treat 11 of the 15 paralyzed mice and there were about 4100 motor neurons that were created in the spinal cord of the mouse and about 200 of the motor neurons were able to exit the cord and about 120 neurons were able to make the connection in the skeletal muscle and this is a big breakthrough that can change the lives of millions of people who are suffering from the aftermath of paralysis, because this research can just provide them with a new life.


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