UC Irvine researchers have figured a way to use human stem cells to restore movement in paralyzed mice.
The scientists at UCI’s Sue & Bill Gross Stem Cell Research Center studied mice that had paralyzed hind legs from a spinal cord injury 30 days before.
The team injected human neural stem cells into the injured mice. Those cells then migrated to spot where the spinal cord was damaged. Four months later, the mice had improved walking ability.
Many previous stem cell studies have focused on the early stages of spinal cord injuries. But with this study, researchers focused a little later, once the inflammation and swelling have gone down.
Currently there aren’t any medications to help restore function that long after the injury.
About 1.3 million people in the U.S. have chronic spinal cord injuries that limit their mobility.