Can nerves in the spinal cord re grow after injury?
Repairing damage to the spinal cord is very complex, as there are many spinal neurons killed by not only the initial injury, but in the hours, days and weeks following the accident. More neurons are also killed as the body begins to kill neurons close to the injury site (secondary damage). As the nervous system develops in the foetus, some nerves cells are programmed to die after they have finished their usefulness. In a spinal cord injury, this self destructive mechanism is triggered again, and some of the neurons around the injury site begin to self destruct or commit suicide in a process called apoptosis. During the body’s response to an injury to the spinal cord, the body forms an impenetrable scar tissue at the site of the injury which acts as a barrier to any neurons that might be trying to grow. Any neurons which have escaped damage may lose their insulating myelin sheath, and so can’t function and pass messages to and from the brain via the spinal cord. To repair a spinal cord