"Biogen Idec in collaboration with scientists at the University of Arizona and Tufts University reported in the April issue of the journal Nature Neuroscience that in preclinical studies, injections of the protein neublastin promoted the regeneration of damaged sensory nerve cells and produced virtually complete, long-term restoration of sensory and motor function. These studies suggest neublastin has potential for further development as a treatment for traumatic nerve injury.
Neublastin, also known as artemin, belongs to a family of proteins, called glial-derived neurotrophic factors (GDNF), which promote nerve cell survival. The protein is unique because it acts selectively on sensory neurons. In previous preclinical studies, neublastin reversed a number of features of chronic pain associated with peripheral nerve injury. "
"Specifically in the studies, six neublastin injections were administered over 11 days following injury to the dorsal root, a bundle of peripheral nerve fibers adjacent to the spinal cord that transmit sensory information to the central nervous system. The injections promoted nerve growth into the spinal cord and restored the ability to respond normally to a variety of sensory stimuli and perform complex motor activities such as grasping an object on contact. The functional recovery occurred even after a two-day delay in administering neublastin and lasted for more than six months."
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