Skin Stem Cells Used to Mend Spines of Rats

A Toronto-led team of researchers has found a way to use stem cells derived from skin to treat spinal cord injuries in rats. The finding lends promise to the idea that stem cells could one day be used to heal spinal cord injuries in humans, helping thousands of Canadians to walk again. Injured rats injected with skin-derived stem cells regained mobility and had better walking co-ordination, according to the study published yesterday in the Journal of Neuroscience. The skin-derived stem cells, injected directly into the injured rats’ spinal cords, were able to survive in their new location and set off a flurry of activity, helping to heal the cavity in the cord

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