Aging decreases ability to regenerate after SCI: 5 insights

Megan Wood -   Print  |

University of California, San Diego School of Medicine and Vancouver-based University of British Columbia researchers studied the connection between spinal cord regeneration and aging, according to Healthcanal.

The study analyzed how age impacts spinal cord regeneration after injury in mice. The researchers removed the Pten gene from young and old mice, as it is a molecular manipulation that promotes regeneration. Cell Reports published the study on March 31.


Here are five insights:


1. Deleting Pten from the neurons of older mice promoted post-injury cellular responses that usually lead to regeneration. But, the axons were not able to regenerate past the injury site in older mice.


2. Older mice also exhibited inflammation at injury sites, whereas younger mice did not. This hints that axons in older mice are in more hostile environments for regeneration.


3. The researchers concluded aging correlates with a decline in the central nervous system's ability to regenerate axons.


4. The findings indicate middle-age adults with spinal cord injury have a decreased ability to regenerate, compared to young adults with spinal cord injury.


5. The researchers want to see if they can increase regeneration ability by enhancing neurons' natural regeneration programs. They will also try to improve the environment for axon regeneration.


More articles on spine:
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Liaquat University of Medical & Health Sciences hosts 2-day neurosciences conference — 4 notes
Mentoring the next generation of spine surgeons — Dr. Behrooz Akbarnia gives back by creating two nonprofit foundations

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