Neuroregeneration refers to the re-growth or repair of nervous tissues, cells or cell products. Such mechanisms may include generation of new neurons, glia, axons, myelin, orsynapses. Neuroregeneration differs between the peripheral nervous system and the central nervous system by the functional mechanisms and especially the extent and speed. When an axon is damaged, the distal segment undergoes Wallerian degeneration, losing its myelin sheath. The proximal segment can either die by apoptosis or undergo the chromatolytic reaction, which is an attempt at repair. In the central nervous system, synaptic stripping occurs as glial foot processes invade the dead synapse.

Nervous system injuries affect over 90,000 people every year. It is estimated that spinal cord injuries alone affect 10,000 each year. As a result of this high incidence of neurological injuries, nerve regeneration and repair, a subfield of neural tissue engineering, is becoming a rapidly growing field dedicated to the discovery of new ways to recover nerve functionality after injury. The nervous system is divided into two parts: the central nervous system, which consists of the brain and spinal cord, and the peripheral nervous system, which consists of cranial and spinal nerves along with their associated ganglia.

While the peripheral nervous system has an intrinsic ability for repair and regeneration, the central nervous system is, for the most part, incapable of self-repair and regeneration. There is currently no treatment for recovering human nerve function after injury to the central nervous system. Although the peripheral nervous system has the capability for regeneration, much research still needs to be done to optimize the environment for maximum re-growth potential. Neuroregeneration is important clinically, as it is part of the pathogenesis of many diseases, including multiple sclerosis. The Toadfish holds the key to the recovery of such cases.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.