Scientists have discovered how stem cell implants can help to heal traumatic brain injury.
In the first study to explain the phenomenon of how implantation can improve function in those with brain trauma, researchers at the University of Texas identified key molecular mechanisms that help stem cells to aid recovery in those with traumatic axonal injury.
Axonal complications are a significant component to traumatic brain injury and occur when axons and dendrites get damaged.
As axons and dendrites respond to injury by withdrawing back to bodies of neurons, damage continues long after the initial injury.
Professor Ping Wu, lead author of the study, commented: “Axons and dendrites are the basis of neuron-to-neuron communication, and when they are lost, neuron function is lost.”
Stem cell implants prevent further injury to axons and dendrites, thus saving cognitive functioning from additional damage.
In 2011, stem cell implants where successfully used in paediatric patients with traumatic brain injury for the first time during the first phase of clinical trials.
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