ScienceDaily (Oct. 31, 2009) — Scientists at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine report that regeneration of central nervous system axons can be achieved in rats even when treatment delayed is more than a year after the original spinal cord injury.
"The good news is that when axons have been cut due to spinal cord injury, they can be coaxed to regenerate if a combination of treatments is applied," said lead author Mark Tuszynski, MD, PhD, professor of neurosciences and director of the Center for Neural Repair at UC San Diego, and neurologist at the Veterans Affairs San Diego Health System. "The chronically injured axon is not dead."
While there are more than 10,000 new spinal cord injuries annually in the United States, nearly 250,000 patients are living in the chronic stages of injury. Yet nearly all previous spinal cord injury studies have attempted to stimulate regeneration when treatment is begun almost immediately after injury -- because, in part, scientists considered it very difficult to achieve regeneration at such long time points after injury. None had shown successful regeneration in the late, chronic stages.
1. Someone has, through intelligence, education and personal dedication, learned something of great importance and has, quite possibly, taken a significant step on the pat that will end up with an ability to cure paralysis. This underscores the critical importance of education in our lives, especially science education. (And let's not over-state this, this is a step. But there are many other, very difficult problems to over-come.)
2. All the prayers through-out all of history have done less than this one man toward the goal of making the paralyzed walk.
3. The money was NIH and VA money with a bit from a charitible trust. For-Profit corporations don't do this kind of medical research. In fact, for the most part for-profit corporations don't do any basic medical research and very little applied-research unless it's, basically, copying or extending medicines and/or devices to beat, create (from government basic research) or extend patents. Without the government, medical research would come to a screeching halt.So the next time you hear some person whining about how the government sucks and your tax dollars do nothing, etc. Just remember, those people are, by-and-large, full of crap. Not only can you see it from this particular episode, but if you look at our life-style and society versus those of Europe and Japan, our first-world competitors... We're pretty pathetic across the board.