Research led by investigators at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center provides new hope for recovery from degenerative neurological diseases — such as ALS and multiple sclerosis — as well from as damage caused by traumatic brain and spine injuries and stroke.
Using a mouse model, researchers at Ohio State and the University of Michigan discovered a new type of immune cell that not only rescues damaged nerve cells from death, but partially reverses nerve fiber damage. The research team also identified a human immune cell line, with similar characteristics, that promotes nervous system repair.
The next step is to harness this cell and expand it in a lab to enhance its healing effects. Researchers hope these cells can then be injected into patients to improve function and mobility and slow or stop progressive neurological decline.