Despite the passing of Christopher Reeve this week, the national attention he brought to stem cell research is not wavering. Coincidentally, the results of two landmark studies are published in the current issue of The Journal of Neuro-science Research.
Both studies focus on what they call a major breakthrough with new drug therapy called KDI Tri-peptide. Researchers believe this treatment could impact the 11,000 new cases every year of spinal cord injuries, which was Reeve's condition, and provide hope to millions who suffer from Alzheimer's disease.
"This is a breathrough for two reasons. First, we have been able to make paralyzed rats walk, and secondly, we have been able to prevent massive tissue destruction in the central nervous system," says Dr. Paivi Liesi, lead investigator at the University of Helsinki.
"Brain neurons and spinal cord neurons do not regenerate. Once they're damaged, they're dead or incapacitated. What this drug does is reverse that process so that the spinal cord works again and the brain can recover," says Dr. Huntington Potter, CEO at Byrd Alzheimer's Institute.
The KDI Tri-peptide treatment has only been tried on lab rats, but researchers say the positive results from these experiments are paving the way for human studies. For more information, you can click here.