New hope for spinal cord injury patients

August 29, 2012, Monash University
New hope for spinal cord injury patients

A new antibody could reverse the damage caused by trauma to the central nervous system, according to new research.

After a neurotrauma event, such as a spinal cord injury, the body produces an inflammatory response that often leads to scarring and permanent nerve damage. There are currently no treatment options.

Research published in The and led by Monash University's Australian Institute (ARMI)  and the Centre for Eye Research Australia (CERA) details how a new antibody, created by the US therapeutic antibody company Lpath, blocks the effects of lysophosphatidic acid (LPA). A molecule released in response to injury, LPA promotes inflammation and nerve cell death.

The research team, led by Dr Yona Goldshmit of ARMI and Dr Alice Pébay of CERA, demonstrated that by administering the antibody soon after the injury occurred, it was possible to preserve and limit the amount of scarring, while substantially reducing the losses in motor function.

Dr Goldshmit said the study reinforced earlier research on the role of LPA after an injury.

"By blocking the effects of LPA, we can help nerve cells survive a traumatic injury and this will hopefully lead to better outcomes for patients in the future," Dr Goldshmit said.

Dr Pébay, Head of CERA's Neuroregeneration Unit, said the study offered great hope for a future pharmacological therapy for in humans.

"Perhaps this drug will one day be administered in the back of an ambulance, as the patient is being transported to hospital," Dr Pébay said.  

The research has been funded by the Transport Accident Commission (TAC) and the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC).

The TAC's CEO Janet Dore said that each year on average, the TAC accepted 25 new claims for people with injuries, both quadriplegia and paraplegia.

"These people will need rehabilitation and medical support from the TAC across their lifetime. Research like this gives us hope that many traumatic spinal injuries could be avoided in the future," Ms Amies said.

Explore further: Zebrafish reveal promising mechanism for healing spinal cord injury

More information: www.sciencedirect.com/science/ … ii/S0002944012004440

Related Stories

Zebrafish reveal promising mechanism for healing spinal cord injury

July 6, 2012
Scientists in Australia are studying the mechanisms of spinal cord repair in zebrafish, which unlike humans and other mammals can regenerate their spinal cord following injury. Their findings suggest a family of molecules ...

Spinal cord treatment offers hope

November 18, 2011
Queensland University of Technology (QUT) researchers have developed a promising new treatment for spinal cord injury in animals, which could eventually prevent paralysis in thousands of people worldwide every year.

Fish study raises hope for spinal injury repair

May 30, 2012
(Medical Xpress) -- Scientists have unlocked the secrets of the zebra fish’s ability to heal its spinal cord after injury, in research that could deliver therapy for paraplegics and quadriplegics in the future.

Research offers hope in new treatment for spinal cord injuries

May 3, 2011
Rutgers researchers have developed an innovative new treatment that could help minimize nerve damage in spinal cord injuries, promote tissue healing and minimize pain.

Evidence for spinal membrane as a source of stem cells may advance spinal cord treatment

October 28, 2011
Italian and Spanish scientists studying the use of stem cells for treating spinal cord injuries have provided the first evidence to show that meninges, the membrane which envelops the central nervous system, is a potential ...

Recommended for you

Probiotics no help to young kids with stomach virus

November 21, 2018
Children with stomach viruses increasingly are given probiotics to ease symptoms of vomiting and diarrhea. But a major U.S. study led by Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis shows that a commonly used probiotic ...

Study identifies how hantaviruses infect lung cells

November 21, 2018
Hantaviruses cause severe and sometimes fatal respiratory infections, but how they infect lung cells has been a mystery. In today's issue of Nature, an international team including researchers at Albert Einstein College of ...

Scientists shed new light on infection process of the gastrointestinal pathogen C. difficile

November 21, 2018
Scientists from the VIB-UGent Center for Inflammation Research identified the mechanisms by which the bacterial pathogen Clostridium difficile kills intestinal epithelial cells (IECs), thus destroying the protective mucosal ...

Can liver disease be linked to heart failure? Study highlights liver-heart interaction

November 21, 2018
Virginia Commonwealth University researchers have collaborated on a clinical trial that identifies indicators for nonalcoholic fatty liver disease—a typically asymptomatic disease caused by fat buildup in the liver and ...

As antibiotic resistance grows, researchers find new targets for fighting deadly staph infections

November 21, 2018
A new look at the inner-workings of bacterial cells could help researchers overcome deadly antibiotic resistance and save the lives of tens-of-thousands of people every year.

Researchers find infectious prions throughout eyes of patients with deadly sporadic Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease

November 20, 2018
By the time symptoms of sporadic Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (sCJD) are typically discovered, death is looming and inevitable. But, in a new study, researchers at University of California San Diego School of Medicine with colleagues ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.