AANS Neurosurgeon | Volume 26, Number 2, 2017

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Study Finds a Key to Nerve Regeneration

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Researchers at the University of Wisconsin-Madison have found a switch that redirects helper cells in the peripheral nervous system into “repair” mode, a form that restores damaged axons. Axons are long fibers on neurons that transmit nerve impulses. The peripheral nervous system, the signaling network outside the brain and spinal cord, has some ability to regenerate destroyed axons, but the repair is slow and often insufficient. The new study suggests tactics that might trigger or accelerate this natural regrowth and assist recovery after physical injury, says John Svaren, a professor of comparative biosciences at the UW-Madison School of Veterinary Medicine. The finding may also apply to genetic abnormalities such as Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease or nerve damage from diabetes. To read more, click here.

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