It’s a long way from experiments with lab mice to clinical treatment of humans, and as a Georgia trial attorney in Atlanta, I only represent human spinal cord injury survivors.
However, it is interesting to observe progress in animal experiments that may someday carry over to treatment of humans.
According to an article published in Nature Neuroscience, researchers from UC Irvine, UC San Diego and Harvard recently announced they had induced nerve regeneration in mice with severe spinal cord injury. They deleted an enzyme called PTEN (a phosphatase and tensin homolog), which controls a molecular pathway that regulates cell growth. PTEN activity is low during development but turns on when growth is completed. Previously, researchers showed they could block PTEN in mice to regenerate nerve connections from the eye to the brain after optic nerve damage. The new research gives some degree of hope that such nerve regeneration could take place in the injured spinal cord.
Ken Shigley, author of Georgia Law of Torts: Trial Preparation & Practice, is a Certified Civil Trial Advocate of the National Board of Trial Advocacy, and has been listed as a "Super Lawyer" (Atlanta Magazine), among the "Legal Elite" (Georgia Trend Magazine), and in the Bar Register of Preeminent Lawyers. He practices law at the Atlanta law firm of Chambers, Aholt & Rickard, and has broad experience in catastrophic personal injury, spinal cord injury, wrongful death, products liability, brain injury and burn injury cases. He is also president-elect of the State Bar of Georgia. This post is subject to our ethical disclaimer.