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A study published in the Frontiers of Neurology provides promise for those with spinal chord injuries. Surgeons have learned how to reconnect sensory neurons to the spinal chord after traumatic injury, and this new research from a team at King’s College London has illuminated how the process works. Torn sensory roots–the cause of debilitating pain and disability–can now be cut and replanted deep in the spinal chord.

The UK investigators discovered that neural circuits reconnect when neural offshoots sprout from dendrites in the dorsal horn, “tiny branched projections at the end of neurons.” The research represents a first step and is sure to spur more investigations that may one day result in a return to full function.

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