A training regimen to adjust the body's motor reflexes may help improve mobility for some people with incomplete spinal cord injuries. During training, the participants were instructed to suppress a knee jerk-like reflex elicited by a small shock to the leg. Those able to calm hyperactive reflexes saw improvements in their walking.
The researchers demonstrated that cord blood cells, which come from the mesoderm, the middle layer of embryonic germ cells, can be switched to ectodermal cells, outer layer cells from which brain, spinal and nerve cells arise. "This study shows for the first time the direct conversion of a pure population of human cord blood cells into cells of neuronal lineage by the forced expression of a single transcription factor," says Juan Carlos Izpisua Belmonte.
The brain’s key “breeder” cells secrete substances that boost the numbers and strength of critical brain-based immune cells believed to play a vital role in brain health. This finding adds a new dimension to our understanding of how resident stem cells and stem cell transplants may improve brain function.
Scientists have identified several genes linked to human neurological disorders, such as Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease and spinal cord injury, in the sea lamprey. The lamprey has large, identified neurons in its brain and spinal cord, making it an excellent model to study regeneration at the single cell-level.
When people close their eyes, they can form mental images of things that exist only in their minds. Neuroscientists studying...
Neuroscience researchers show how astrocytes control the generation of new neurons in the brain. “In the brain, astrocytes control how many new neurons are formed from neural stem cells and survive to integrate into the existing neuronal networks. Astrocytes do this by secreting specific molecules but also by much less understood direct cell-cell interactions with stem cells”, says Prof. Milos Pekny.
Researchers have developed a new method to produce 3D networks of blood vessels.
A brain-penetrating experimental drug in development as a cancer treatment can foster the regeneration of damaged nerves following spinal cord injury, researchers report.