Scientists in San Diego, working for the University of California, have been researching nerve regeneration and nerve repair after significant injury. Through their studies of over two years and looking at 654 genes, they have discovered over 70 genes that play a role in nerve regeneration after injury. Surprisingly, little is known about how adults grow and regenerate damaged nerves, although much is known about how embryos perform the same biological tasks, leading the field of scientific inquiry wide-open for new discoveries and strides in the field.
Interestingly, the scientists working on this project also discovered six genes that seem to work to repress nerve growth and regeneration, which also serves an important biological function. Many of the genes that the researchers identified as being important for nerve regeneration also play a role in other neurological processes, such as creating and sending neurotransmitters (such as dopamine and seratonin, which regulate emotions). This new discovery can lead to great strides in research regarding recovery after spinal cord injuries, strokes, paralysis, and neuropathic pain. It may also serve to inform scientists as to how depression is linked to a prolonged injury and/or chronic pain, due to the role of the neurotransmitting genes.
Attorney Doug Stoehr is a personal injury lawyer serving western and central Pennsylvania. For more on his career and firm, please click here.