Yet another groundbreaking development in paralysis and spinal cord injury is called suppression of scar formation and spinal cord regeneration.
This theory is based on the idea that traumatic spinal cord injury causes inflammation, as well as a loss of specialized nerve cells called glia,when the nerve fibers are damaged.
The result is the formation of a fibrous meshwork of dense scar tissue that prevents axons from regenerating. Suppression of scar formation and spinal cord regeneration is a two-pronged approach designed to reverse the process of scarring and promote the healing of nerve fibers.
In the first step of this treatment, scar tissue is suppressed and removed in order to promote axon growth across the site of the injury. Next, a therapy designed to restore glia—such as stem cell treatment—is used to regenerate the neural cells in the spinal cord.
Research related to the suppression of scar formation and spinal cord regeneration is still in the very early stages, and has a long way to go before it will be tested on humans. That being said, studies in animals show extremely promising results.