Posted by Neill Abayon
Scientist at Sweden's Karolinska Institute have shown that a combination of nerve-implant techniques can restore partial use of the legs in rats whose spinal cords have been severed.
Henrich cheng, Lars Olson and Yihai Cao cut rat's spinal cord at chest level and removed a small segment. They then successfully grew new nerve connections across the gaps of the severed cords, restoring some motion and sensation of the animals paralyzed hind legs.
While the findings, reported in the journal science aren't immediately applicable to humans suffering from paralysis, they "nevertheless provides a strong basis for hope in the field" writes researcher Wise Young of New York University Medical Center. "The possibility of effective regenerative therapies for human spinal-cord injury is no longer a speculation but a realistic goal."