(Article Precis, 21/Nov/98, Issue 2161, p7)
Nell Boyce reports on research at Purdue University, Indiana,
into repairing severed spinal cords using polyethylene glycol (PEG),
a substance used in medical cosmetics.
The cords, removed from deceased guinea pigs, were severed and then
reconnected in the presence of PEG. Electrical activity through a cord
was restored by an average of 5%, with a peak as high as 58%. Even low
restoration levels may re-enable basic functions such as walking.
Testing has now progressed to living animals, with proposals for human
trials under consideration.
Note: In order to comply with copyright law, I have ommited some
details from the original article. Thus, for a complete insight into
the topic covered here, please either consult your local library for
the issue concerned, purchase the relevant issue from your local
newsagent, or back-order it from the publishers.
Precised by Ian Mapleson, 20/Nov/1998.