Japan team enables monkeys with spinal cord injuries to move fingers
Jiji -- Jan 06
A joint research team of Kyoto University and Osaka University said Friday it has succeeded in repairing finger function in monkeys with spinal cord injuries using an antibody against a protein that blocks neural regeneration.

Details of the findings by the team, including Kyoto University researcher Hiroshi Nakagawa, were published online by the British journal Cerebral Cortex the same day.

A clinical trial of the antibody treatment for spinal cord injury patients will be launched this year at the earliest by a group led by Osaka University and Mitsubishi Tanabe Pharma Corp. <4508>, people familiar with the matter said.

In Japan, over 5,000 spinal cord injuries occur each year through traffic accidents, among others, with more than 200,000 people currently incurring damage to the spinal cord, which makes up the central nervous system with the brain. Only about 10 pct of the sufferers are said to be able to return to work or school after rehabilitation.

In the latest study, the team focused on the repulsive guidance molecule-a (RGMa) protein, which accumulates around a spinal lesion and acts as an inhibitor to nerve cell regeneration.

News source: Jiji
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