The last two weeks have been an exciting time in the science of nerve cell regeneration. First, a study published January 22 tells of the identification of specific genes responsible for restoring injured nerve cells in nematodes. These genes have direct correlates in humans. Activating these genes in humans may eventually be a way of treating neurological damage.
Secondly, and closer to fruition, on January 23, the FDA Approved a human study injecting embryonic stem cells into the spinal cords of recently injured people with paraplegia. The researchers hope to improve function below the injury site, as has been the case in similar rodent studies.
Links: ScienceExpress article (required paid subscription)
Geron, the company running the human study