A new study by researchers at Imperial College London, led by Rosetrees funded Professor Simone Di Giovanni, has revealed why ageing nerve cells cannot regenerate as well as young nerve cells after injury.
Previous research has shown that ageing prevents nerve cell regeneration and recovery, leading to severe and long-term disability. Until now, the reasons for the age-related decline in regeneration have been poorly understood.
But the Imperial team discovered that a particular type of immune cell (T cell) blocks the regenerative signals in nerve cells as we age. They subsequently used drugs (monoclonal antibodies) to repress the T cells and hence treat and restore nerve cell regeneration.
This exciting advance, published in Science, opens the way to potential new treatment strategies for patients affected by traumatic nerve injuries and other similar diseases.
Click the link for details of the publication in Science.