Stem Cells From Patient’s Fat Used To Grow New Nerves
Stem cells from a patient’s fat may be used to create new nerves that can repair severed peripheral nerves (nerves outside the spinal cord), say scientists from Manchester University, England. The researchers say this route for creating new nerves could be part of medical practice by the year 2011.
The scientists said their aim is to put the new nerve tissue inside a biodegradable plastic tube, insert in at the broken ends of the severed nerve, and rejoin them in a human. This procedure could help a considerable number of people. They say they have had promising results with rats.
You can read about this study in Experimental Neurology.
Current medicine offers very limited procedures to help restore peripheral nerves. Nerves from elsewhere can sometimes be used- however, the risk of additional damage is significant, and even when there are results they hardly ever restore perfect function, say the authors.