Science

An antibody that could help spinal cord injury patients

PTI Melbourne | Updated on August 29, 2012 Published on August 29, 2012

Damage to the central nervous system from trauma could be reversed with the help of a new antibody, Australian researchers have claimed.

The new antibody works by blocking the effects of a molecule called lysophosphatidic acid (LPA) that is released in response to injury, promoting inflammation leading to scarring and nerve cell death.

After a neurotrauma event, such as a spinal cord injury, the body produces an inflammatory response that often leads to scarring and permanent nerve damage for which there are currently no treatment options, said the research team led by Australian Regenerative Medicine Institute’s Yona Goldsmith and Centre for Eye Research Australia’s Alice Pebay.

The team demonstrated that by administering the antibody soon after the injury occurred, it was possible to preserve nerve cells and limit the amount of scarring, while substantially reducing the losses in motor function.

Goldshmit said the study reinforced earlier research on the role of LPA after an injury.

“By blocking the effects of LPA, we can help nerve cells survive a traumatic injury and this will hopefully lead to better outcome for patients in the future,” Goldshmit said.

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Published on August 29, 2012
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