Material from crushed up crab and shrimp shells can restore electrical function to damaged guinea pig spinal cords, suggesting it may one day serve as a treatment for spinal cord injuries, according to a study published April 16th in the Journal of Experimental Biology. This paper is an "intriguing first step," said linkurl:Scott Whittemore,;http://louisville.edu/kscirc/bios/dr-scott-r-whittemore.html professor of neurological surgery at the University of Louisville, who was not involved in this research. But there are many steps that need to be taken first, he cautioned. "There needs to be more research and data presented before this is applied in a clinical setting," he added.
Trauma to the spinal cord often results in the deterioration of cell membranes, which then results in cell and tissue death, often leading to paralysis. One way to help eliminate loss of body functions is to seal the deteriorating cell membranes, researchers suggest....
Image: Wikimedia commons,
The ScientistY. Cho et al., "Chitosan produces potent neuroprotection and physiological recovery following spinal injury," The Journal of Experimental Biology, published online April 16, 2010, doi:10.1242/jeb.035162.
Interested in reading more?
Become a Member of
Receive full access to more than 35 years of archives, as well as TS Digest, digital editions of The Scientist, feature stories, and much more!
Already a member?