Researchers Discover A Way To Promote Nerve Growth

shutterstock_135109976Researchers from the University of Calgary’s Hotchkiss Brain Institute have discovered a mechanism to promote the growth of nerve cells and restore damaged connections after injury. This may prove to someday help treat conditions arising from damaged nerve cells such as diabetes, Parkinson’s disease and multiple sclerosis. Results of the study are published in the journal Nature Communications.

Dr. Doug Zochodne, a professor at the Department of Clinical Neurosciences at the University of Calgary, and his team of researchers have discovered a key molecule that seems to act as a regulator of the growth of nerve cells in the nervous system.

“We made the surprising discovery that a protein called Retinoblastoma (Rb) is present in adult neurons,” says, Dr. Zochodne. “This protein appears to normally act as a brake – preventing nerve growth. What we have shown is that by inactivating Rb, we can release the brake and coax nerves to grow much faster,” he further added.

Dr. Zochodne and his team focused on searching for Rb in nerve cells because of the molecule’s role in regulating cell growth in other parts of the body. ┬áThe researchers were able to make the Rb inactive for a short period of time without causing any negative effects. This gave the team reason to believe that it can be developed into a potential treatment for conditions characterized by nerve cell damage.

Source: Sciencedaily

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