a1 Centre for Brain Repair, University of Cambridge, Cambridge, UK.
Spinal cord injury is one of the most devastating conditions that affects the central nervous system. It can lead to permanent disability and there are around two million people affected worldwide. After injury, accumulation of myelin debris and formation of an inhibitory glial scar at the site of injury leads to a physical and chemical barrier that blocks axonal growth and regeneration. The mammalian central nervous system thus has a limited intrinsic ability to repair itself after injury. To improve axonal outgrowth and promote functional recovery, it is essential to identify the various intrinsic and extrinsic factors controlling regeneration and navigation of axons within the inhibitory environment of the central nervous system. Recent advances in spinal cord research have opened new avenues for the exploration of potential targets for repairing the cord and improving functional recovery after trauma. Here, we discuss some of the important key molecules that could be harnessed for repairing spinal cord injury.
c1 Corresponding author: Fardad T. Afshari, Centre for Brain Repair, University of Cambridge, Forvie Site, Robinson Way, Cambridge, CB2 0PY, UK. Tel: +44 1223 334121; Fax: +44 1223 331174; E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org