Nerve cells trapped inside of scar tissue can be released to spur recovery of bowel control, as well as some ability to ambulate, according to findings of recent animal-based study based at Case Western Reserve University  (CWRU). Jerry Silver, PhD, neuroscience professor in the School of Medicine at CWRU worked with a team to develop a drug that releases trapped nerve fibers.

The success of this study, however, reveals that though the nerve fibers were able to break free of the proteoglycan barriers that would otherwise bind them to scar tissue, the freed fibers do not actually reconnect. Instead, the new growth of nerve cells foods the spinal cord with seratonin, which magnifies the signals carried by nerves that have remained intact.