Help for spine injury victims could be just a sniff away

In its annual list of the year’s top ten scientific breakthroughs, the journal Science has given top honors to research that produced “made-to-order” cell lines by reprogramming cells from ill patients. These cell lines, and the techniques for producing them, offer long-sought tools for understanding — and hopefully someday curing — difficult-to-study diseases such as

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According to Australian scientists help for spine injury victims could be just a sniff away - researchers from the University of New South Wales in Sydney say stem cells taken from the nose could help spinal injury victims regain movement.

The team have conducted tests on paralysed rats which found they were able to move their hind legs just six weeks after being injected with human nose cells.

For the tests the scientists used special cells, called olfactory ensheathing glia cells, chosen because of their apparent ability to help spinal cord nerve fibres grow.

The nasal glia cells normally help with the growth of fibres linking the lining of the nose with the brain but also helped regenerate nerves in the spine.

The scientists believe the nasal cells offer a great deal of potential and they hope their results will eventually lead to a successful clinical trial on humans.

According to Dr. Catherine Gorrie, who led the research, the cells are very accessible and harvesting them is a relatively simple procedure.

The cells are taken from the patient and more are encouraged to grow in the laboratory and then they are inserted them back into the patient.

The spinal cord acts as the main connection between the brain and the rest of the body.

The research results were presented at a Society for Neuroscience conference in Washington DC recently and demonstrated that rats injected with the human nose cells regained more limb function than those not given the treatment.


Cells from the human nose are showing further promise in remediating spinal cord injury, according to research from the University of New South Wales (UNSW). Six weeks after injecting cells from the human nose (olfactory ensheathing glia) into the injured spinal cords of rats, the researchers found improvements in the animals’ movement. “We

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A study published in the current issue of Cell Transplantation (Vol.17, No. suggests that mature adipocytes - fat cells - could become a source for cell replacement therapy to treat central nervous system disorders. According to the study’s lead researcher, Dr. Yuki Ohta of the Institute of Medical Science, St. Mariana University School of

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Neuralstem, Inc. announced this morning that it has filed an Investigational New Drug (IND) application with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to begin a clinical trial to treat amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS or Lou Gehrig’s disease). The Company is planning to treat ALS patients through spinal injections of its stem cells via its

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Researchers at the University of Washington (UW) have reported for the first time that mammals can be stimulated to regrow inner nerve cells in their damaged retinas. Located in the back of the eye, the retina’s role in vision is to convert light into nerve impulses to the brain. The findings on retina self-repair

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