Using Washington University’s state-of-the-art zebrafish facility, scientists have identified a gene that helps regulate how well nerves of the central nervous system are insulated. The finding may have implications for human diseases such as multiple sclerosis, in which this insulation is lost.
School of Medicine researchers have identified a chain reaction that triggers the regrowth of some damaged nerve cell branches, a discovery that one day may help improve treatments for nerve injuries that can cause loss of sensation or paralysis. To study how nerve cells respond to injuries in their branches, researcher Valeria Cavalli grows them in “spots,” like the one pictured.
Many medical conditions destroy nerve axons, the long wires that transmit signals to other parts of the body. Now, researchers have found a way the body can remove injured axons, identifying a potential target for new drugs that could prevent the inappropriate loss of axons and maintain nerve function.
Researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis have received a five-year, $3.8 million grant from the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke to renew a center that helps researchers collect and use data on the brain and central nervous system.