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A New Therapy for Spinal Cord Injury

WASHINGTON, Jan. 17, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- An article published in Experimental Biology and Medicine (Volume 244, Issue 18, December 2019 (https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/pdf/10.1177/1535370219888620) describes a new therapeutic strategy for treating spinal cord injury. The study, led by Drs. Hu and Lu, First Affiliated Hospital of Bengbu Medical College in Bengbu (China), reports that the small molecule P7C3 promotes recovery in an animal model of spinal cord injury. 

Spinal cord injury (SCI) is a devastating neurological disorder resulting in impaired neurological function. Currently, there are no effective treatment options for patients with SCI. However, therapeutic strategies that promote the survival of neurons and oligodendrocytes may prevent long-term neurological dysfunction. P7C3 is an orally bioavailable small molecule that crosses the blood-brain barrier and promotes neuronal survival in animal models. Pre-clinical studies have confirmed P7C3's protective effects in Parkinson's disease, traumatic brain injury, peripheral nerve injury, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, age-associated cognitive decline, and neurodegeneration-associated depression. Nonetheless, P7C3 has not been evaluated as a treatment option for SCI. 

In the current study, Dr. Hu and colleagues assessed the effects of P7C3 in an animal model of SCI.  Animals treated with P7C3 exhibited improved neuron and oligodendrocyte survival, locomotor function, tissue repair, and myelination when compared to untreated animals. Collectively, these results demonstrate that P7C3 promotes neuronal survival and function recovery in SCI. Dr. Hu said, "The discovery of neuroprotective effects of P7C3 against rat SCI suggests that P7C3 treatment could be a promising strategy for SCI."

Dr. Steven R. Goodman, Editor-in-Chief of Experimental Biology & Medicine, said "Hu and colleagues demonstrate that P7C3 improves the neurologic outcome in rats with spinal cord injury (SCI). P7C3, a small molecule aminopropyl carbazole, deserves future study as a potential therapeutic impacting long-term outcome in SCI."

Experimental Biology and Medicine is a global journal dedicated to the publication of multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary research in the biomedical sciences. The journal was first established in 1903. Experimental Biology and Medicine is the journal of the Society of Experimental Biology and Medicine. To learn about the benefits of society membership, visit www.sebm.org. For anyone interested in publishing in the journal, please visit http://ebm.sagepub.com.

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SOURCE Experimental Biology and Medicine