Releasing the brake on nerve growth

[Public domain] via Wikimedia Commons

Recovery from peripheral nerve damage is a slow and often incomplete process that may leave behind lasting deficits including severe disability. The poor functional recovery is due in part to limited regrowth of axons. For example, after nerve transection, only 10% of axons from the proximal stump may eventually reach their targets. Axon regrowth can be regulated by various growth factors and by intrinsic ‘braking’ mechanisms. A recent report in Nature Communications (5, 3670; 2014) shows how manipulating one of these molecular brakes can enhance nerve growth and improve functional motor and sensory recovery after injury.

Lab Anim. (NY) 43, 180 (2014).
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