Some days we awake with a spring in our step. Nerve fibers in our spinal cord transmit messages between our brain and muscles.
For those living with paraplegia restoring such communication was thought impossible. However, a new kind of gene therapy tested on mice has delivered astonishing results.
Scientists at the Ruhr-Universität in Bochum had already discovered that a lab-designed protein could stimulate damaged nerve cells to regenerate. But there’s more.
When suitable viruses, carrying a protein blueprint, were injected into the brain, the nerve cells got productive AND the protein was sent to other nerve cells responsible for movement within our body.
Just two or three weeks after receiving treatment previously paralyzed mice started to use their legs again.