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The Quest to Repair the Damaged Spinal Cord

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Spinal cord injuries devastate the lives of those affected. Normally, acute injury leads to chronic injury in the spinal cord, although this has a variable impact on normal sensory and motor functions. Currently the only drug used to treat acute spinal cord injury is methyl-prednisolone, administered in order to prevent secondary inflammatory neural damage. Thus, it is time that alternative and complementary pharmacological, cell and gene therapies be developed. In order to achieve this, several approaches to stimulate spinal cord repair must be considered. Indeed, the main lines of research that have been established in different animal models of spinal cord regeneration are now beginning to produce encouraging results. Several patents have been derived from these studies and hopefully, they will lead to the development of new treatments for human spinal cord injuries. Here is presented a review of the main patents that have been generated by this research, and that can be classified as:

Patents involving the use of different factors that promote axonal regeneration.

Patents aimed at overcoming the activity of glial scar inhibitory molecules that hinder axonal regeneration. These approaches can be further subdivided into those that block Nogo and other myelin components, and those that involve the use of chondroitinase against glial scar chondroitin sulphate proteoglycans.

Patents concerning glial cell therapy, in which glial cells are used to mediate axonal repair in the spinal cord (Schwann cells, olfactory ensheathing cells or astrocytes).

Keywords: Spinal cord repair; axonal regeneration; central nervous system regeneration; glial cell therapy; glial scar molecules; neurotrophic factors

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: Centro de Biologia Molecular "Severo Ochoa" (CSIC-UAM), Facultad de Ciencias, Universidad Autónoma de Madrid, 28049 Madrid, Spain;

Publication date: 2006-01-01

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  • Recent Patents on CNS Drug Discovery publishes review articles on recent patents in the field of CNS drug discovery e.g. novel bioactive compounds, analogs & targets. A selection of important and recent patents on CNS drug discovery is also included in the journal. The journal is essential reading for all researchers involved in CNS drug design and discovery.
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