Nerve Regeneration Essay

557 Words3 Pages
How Injured Nerves Grow Themselves Back This article is about how scientists have discovered that unlike spinal cord nerves, peripheral nerves in limbs and organs have the ability to regenerate after injury. After a serious injury, nerves need a new mechanism to regroup because developmental signals for re-growth are not there. Peripheral nerves, whose nucleus is in the spinal cord, relay nerve messages to the axons that extend from them and can reach all the way down a leg. When nerves get damaged or cut, the axons degenerate and are unable to respond to commands from the peripheral nerves. Re-growth of these nerves require that that ends find their way back to each other through the damaged tissues. According to the article, scientists know that Schwann cells are important to this process. The cells are found wrapped around axons and under normal circumstances remain quiet. When an injury occurs, the Schwann cells revert back to a stem-cell like state that appears to play a role in bridging the gap to repair damaged neurons. A new study has found that Schwann cells need help to repair damaged nerves properly. This help comes from cells called fibroblasts which are known to play a role in wound healing. This is a new role for fibroblasts which send signals to Schwann cells causing them to group into clumps and make their way out of the nerve stump as a group. These clumps then guide the re-growth of axons across the injury. Allison Lloyd of University College London said the new findings might lead to ways to improve the repair of peripheral nerves. Her team is currently exploring ways to improve upon natural nerve healing. This article pertains to biology because it is showing the re-growth and regeneration on nerves, and damaged tissue in the human body. It also shows how our bodies can recognize an injury, and by recognizing this injury our

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