Investigating a new treatment for spinal cord injuries

Each year, 4,300 Canadians suffer from spinal cord injuries (SCI), the majority from motor vehicle accidents. SCI can rob a person of physical sensation and even lead to paralysis. While rehabilitation can help, there is currently no way to reverse the damage caused by SCI. Now, a new UHN-led study may mark a move towards treatment.

A team of researchers at the Krembil Research Institute led by Drs. Charles Tator, Philippe Monnier and Andrea Mothe examined the potential role of a molecule known as RGMa. Their research showed that inhibiting RGMa activity in the SCI model produced several positive effects – it promoted the survival of nerve cells and the growth of their fibers near the site of injury, improved movement, coordination and mobility, and alleviated the pain that typically follows SCI.

If RGMa inhibition continues to produce promising results in the laboratory, the next step is clinical trials to establish if the treatment could benefit patients.

Find out more the spinal program at the Krembil Neuroscience Centre.

Dr. Charles Tator

Dr. Philippe Monnier

Dr. Andrea Mothe