In experiments with mice, scientists from Tel Aviv University found that injecting a potent enzyme hours after spinal injury can put the brakes on a cascade of pathological events responsible for neuronal death, such as inflammation and scarring.
“Primary mechanical damage to spinal-cord tissue kills a certain amount of neuronal cells. But there’s secondary damage due to the release of excess glutamates, which are responsible for additional functional disability,” explained Dr. Yona Goldshmit of TAU’s Sackler Faculty of Medicine and the Australian Regenerative Medicine Institute, Monash University.
“The main idea is to reduce the secondary damage as soon as possible — to block the body’s natural reaction to spinal cord trauma. This is the role of the enzyme injection we devised,” he said.