Spinal cord injury (SCI) in humans typically has a poor prognosis, including permanent losses in mobility and sensation, reflecting in part our very limited capacity for neural regeneration.
To understand these limits on recovery after SCI, MBL Associate Scientist Jennifer Morgan studies the lamprey, a fish that can spontaneously regenerate neurons after SCI and regain mobility remarkably well.
Morgan’s team recently discovered that one risk factor for neural death after SCI is the accumulation of a protein, synuclein, in the damaged neurons. Together with their collaborators, Morgan’s team also identified a drug, CLR01, that reduces the accumulation of synuclein in lamprey neurons after SCI, and thereby improves their survival. They published their study this week in Experimental Neurology.