Researchers from the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center found that mice lacking the protein ephrin-B3 showed signs of a rare condition known as mirror-movement disorder.
The main symptom of the disease is an involuntary symmetrical movement of the limbs so, for example, when the right hand is moved the left involuntarily moves with it.
Previous research has suggested that mirror movement is caused by defects in the corticospinal tract, and ephrins are known to regulate nerve growth within this tract. Mark Henkemeyer explains in January
The authors hope their findings may prove helpful in the regeneration of nerves in people with spinal cord injuries.