A few days ago, the results of a study of a new method of gene therapy, aimed at "remaking" the dead tissue of the spinal cord, were published. We are talking about scars left after physical damage to the spine that separate neurons and prevent nerve cells from exchanging signals. Scientists succeeded in replacing this useless tissue with normal, living tissue, partially restoring the work of the spinal cord.
With injuries of the spine, both the controlling nervous system and the muscles under its control are preserved, but the connection between them is lost. Its restoration is the main goal of all work in this direction. Experimental mice, completely paralyzed, were able to move their paws a few weeks after gene therapy. Over time, they began to crawl again (but not yet walk), and then began to independently search for and absorb food.
Most of all, scientists were struck by the fact that the animals also recovered fine motor skills, for example, they could grab and gnaw sugar pieces of different sizes. This means that the task can be divided into several stages and, for example, achieve the restoration of control over the hands of a paralyzed person, even if he still has to spend the rest of his life in a wheelchair.
The experiments on mice were of a research nature, and the technique is not yet ready for adaptation to humans.