Post-injury nerve cell regeneration could be possible in patients with spinal injuries, say scientists at the University of California.
Studies conducted at the university looked into stimulating cell growth in rats and found that the stimulation led to increased growth capacity of nerve cells.
They were also able to sustain that capacity, according to the United Press, which is vital for long-term and effective recovery.
Published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the findings will bring hope to those who suffer from severe spinal injuries and could lead to new developments in the treatment of humans.
"Knowing that cells in the spinal cord can grow again is terribly important," explained Naomi Kleitman, a neurological disorders expert at the National Institutes of Health.
"Even though it may be a while before this discovery makes a difference to a person in a wheelchair, and no one discovery can help all cord injuries because they are so complex, scientists are very excited about it."