Spinal cord injury – enzyme treatment | Children's Charity

Spinal cord injury – enzyme treatment

This research was completed on 31 May 2006

Project LeaderProfessor J W Fawcett PhD, MRCP.
LocationCambridge University Centre for Brain Repair, Cambridge.
Grant awarded7 November 2002
Start date1 June 2003
End date31 May 2006
Grant amount£116,123.00
Grant codeSP3839

We do not provide medical advice. If you would like more information about a condition or would like to talk to someone about your health, contact NHS Choices or speak to your GP. Please see our useful links page for some links to health information, organisations we are working with and other useful organisations. We hope you will find these useful. We are not responsible for the content of any of these sites.

A major problem faced by neurologists caring for those with spinal cord injuries is that damage to the brain and spinal cord cannot be repaired by the body. Therefore, patients with spinal cord injuries can suffer a loss of sensation or are paralysed for the rest of their lives. The only way to bring back muscle control and sensation is to make the nerve fibres regrow down the spinal cord. This does not happen spontaneously because, although the nerve fibres try to regrow, they are blocked by the scar tissue that forms around the injury. With previous Action Research funding, this team recently developed an enzyme treatment that digests components of this scar tissue, allowing some nerve fibres to regrow into the spinal cord. But before this treatment can be given to patients, we need to find out how best to administer it, when after injury it should be applied, and whether it should be given together with other treatments.

Help us spread the word