Paralysis soon curable? New plant active ingredient heals nerve injuries

Paralysis soon curable? New plant active ingredient heals nerve injuries

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Active ingredient from feverfew accelerates the healing of injured nerves

Nerve injuries heal very slowly, in many cases permanent damage such as paralysis remains. To date, medical research has not produced an effective drug to heal such damage. A German research team now wants to make the decisive breakthrough and make nerve injuries and thus paralysis curable. In initial experiments, they have already shown that an active ingredient from feverfew significantly improves the healing process of injured nerves.

The healing of nerve damage is still a big problem in today's medicine. Paralysis, for example as a result of strokes, often persists, heals only partially or very slowly. Neurobiologists from the Ruhr University in Bochum (RUB) have now discovered a plant-based active ingredient from feverfew that significantly accelerated the healing process in mice and rats with an injured sciatic nerve.

A breakthrough after 30 years of research?

"Despite intensive research, it has not been possible to significantly improve the treatment of nerve injuries in the past 30 years," write the RUB experts in a press release on the new findings. This should change now. The team around Professor Dr. Dietmar Fischer discovered a new class of active ingredients that have the potential to heal nerve damage.

First successful tests

According to the RUB, researchers have succeeded for the first time in proving the effectiveness of a healing substance in nerve injuries. In mice and rats with sciatica problems, the team showed how the active ingredient from feverfew significantly improved the rodent's nerve functions.

Nerve-impaired people are often left without help

Injured nerves often cause permanent damage. Injury, chemotherapy, diseases such as diabetes, a stroke - these and other causes often leave victims unaided. "Due to the slow growth rate of nerve fibers, the healing process is usually very lengthy and often incomplete," reports Professor Fischer. This could result in permanent disorders such as paralysis of the arms or legs, numbness and chronic pain. This severely limits the quality of life of those affected.

New hope for patients with permanent nerve damage

The latest findings from neurobiologists give hope to the sick. The feverfew active ingredient, called Parthenolid, has proven in rodents that it can more than double the regeneration rate of nerve fibers. The scientists were able to document that the restoration of motor skills and sensitivity of the sciatic nerve after an injury is possible in half the time.

More tests needed

"We now want to test whether the new drug class is also effective for other types of injury," says Fischer. The first tests were validation. In the next step, the active ingredient had to be developed into a drug that can be used for humans. For this purpose, a cooperation with a pharmaceutical company or an own company foundation is planned.

Next project already in the starting blocks

In October 2018, the neurobiologists will start the next project to investigate whether the feverfew substance is also suitable for use in other types of injuries or nerve pain. The Federal Ministry of Education and Research is also showing interest in the new active ingredient and is funding the project with around 1.25 million euros. (vb)

Author and source information

Video: BEST 3 Foot Drop Tests to How to Walk Normal Again After Stroke, Nerve Damage, or Weakness (July 2022).


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