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In this study, published online November 14, 2010 in Nature Neuroscience, the investigators explore what underlies the sponteneous recovery seen after partial injury in a non-human primate. Among the authors, Jacqueline Bresnahan is chair of the Foundation's Science Advisory Council (SAC), V. Reggie Edgerton is a SAC member and a Principal Investigator in the Reeve International Consortium on Spinal Cord Research and Gregoire Courtine is a former Edgerton postdoctoral fellow and Consortium Associate.
The study shows unexpected and extensive natural recovery after spinal cord injury in primates. The findings, to be published Nov. 14 in the advance online edition of Nature Neuroscience, may one day lead to the development of new treatments for patients with spinal cord injuries.
While regeneration after severe brain and spinal cord injury is limited, milder injuries are often followed by good functional recovery. To investigate how this occurs, UC San Diego and VA Medical Center San Diego researchers studied adult rhesus monkeys. The team was surprised to see that connections between circuits in the spinal cord re-grew spontaneously and extensively, restoring fully 60% of the connections 24 weeks after a mild spinal cord injury.
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