A 'toothy' way to treat spinal injuries?
Posted on: 05:28 PM IST Dec 05, 2011
London: A new study has found how teeth could be linked with spinal cord injuries and help patients walk again.
Researchers helped mice with broken spines regain some movement in their lower limbs by implanting dental pulp stem cells.
The study, led by Japan's Nagoya University, could help patients with severe mobility problems live life normally.
The pulp staves off the death of neurons or nerve cells, regenerates severed nerves and helps other cells supporting the spine grow, the Daily Mail reported.
Scientists say that it can be extracted from the centre of adult wisdom teeth without adverse health effects.
"We propose that tooth-derived stem cells may be an excellent and practical cellular resource for the treatment of spinal cord injuries," the report said.
"Within the context of spinal cord injuries, this is a relatively new and under-studied source of stem cells which appears to show remarkably promising results," said Mark Bacon, researcher at charity Spinal Research.
"The results have been achieved following the immediate transplanting of the cells into the injured area," he said.