An international team of scientist, led by University of Wisconsin- Madison, brings a sigh of relief for victims for spinal muscle atrophy. They have successfully generated nerve cells from skin cells. The research is significant breakthrough for those suffering the bane of muscle wasting disease.
It is of essence to learn that there are no viable cures for spinal muscular atrophy. It is inherited disease that affects the nerves in an area of the spinal cord. This snaps the link between the brain and the other muscles. The resulting condition is that the muscles become atrophied (inactive) or wasted.
According to the daily mail, the research was conducted on a boy suffering from spinal muscular atrophy. The team of researches extracted cells from the boy’s skin and cultivated stem cells from them. Essentially the stem cells are known to develop into different types of tissues in the body. The scientists treated the stem cells accumulated from the boy’s skin with chemicals to produce nerve cells successfully. However, when the nerve cells were cultivated in the lab, they were expired.
Although, a futile attempt, the study of such cells is expected to provide significant clue for future studies on cures for spinal muscular atrophy, according to the team led by Prof Clive Svendsen. In co-researcher Dr. AllIson Ebert’s opinion, once the reason behind the death of affected neurons is exposed, therapies can be developed to intervene the development in the early stages.