Endangered Axolotl Offers Clues on Healing Spinal Cord Injury

jalal, Fatema (2018-05-05)

All spinal cord injuries are divided into two broad categories; incomplete and complete. In Incomplete spinal cord injuries the cord is only partially severed, allowing the injured person to retain some function. In these cases, the degree of function depends on the extent of the injuries. Incomplete spinal cord injuries like Anterior cord syndrome, Central cord syndrome, and Brown-Sequard syndrome. In complete spinal cord injuries they occur when the spinal cord is fully severed, eliminating function. Though, with treatment and physical therapy, it may be possible to regain some function. There are layers which usually protect the spinal cord from injuries, those layers are like myelin, which surrounds nerve fibers called axons, plays a complex role after spinal cord injury. It must be restored to axons that remain, yet it contains molecules that discourage axon regeneration


One of the most vexing problems with spinal cord injuries is that the human body does not rebuild nerves once they have been damaged. Other animals, on the other hand, seem to have no problem repairing broken neurons. Although the Mexican salamander or axolotl share many of the same genes with humans, it can successfully regenerate neurons while humans instead form scar tissue. Humans have very limited capacity for regeneration, while other species like axolotl have the remarkable ability to functionally regenerate limbs, heart tissue and even the spinal cord after injury. This knowledge could be used to design new therapeutic targets for treating spinal cord injury or other neurodegenerative diseases

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