Spinal cord Technology - General Information
Proneuron's proprietary therapeutic strategies for Spinal Cord Injuries are based on the intensive research of Prof. Michal Schwartz, Chair of
Neuroimmunology at the Weizmann Institute of Science, Israel. Prof. Schwartz has shown that the natural activity of
the immune system can protect nerve cells against degeneration and also help in recovery (spinal nerve regeneration) following CNS trauma (such as back injury).
Proneuron expertise in neuroimmunology and cell therapy has resulted in a wide patent protection.
Comprised of the brain, spinal cord and optic nerves, the central nervous system (CNS) contains an intricate network
of interconnecting neurons that gives rise to sensation, movement control, intelligence, creativity, emotion, learning,
thought, consciousness, and memory. Humans are born with all the nerve cells they will ever have and subsequently
lose neurons at a slow rate throughout their lives. Depending on their position, loss of neurons to disease or injury can
lead to permanent severe disability such as blindness, paralysis, mental impairment, etc.
The spinal cord contains ascending and descending tracts of nerve fibers (axons) to transfer sensory information from
the periphery to the brain and motor activities from the brain to the periphery. When the spinal cord is damaged, neural
function below the level of the injury is lost. Thus, injuries lower down may affect only the legs, while higher injuries affect
the arms and sometimes even the vital systems such as respiration.
The body routinely employs the immune system to protect against intruding microorganisms (such as bacteria and viruses)
by attacking and eliminating them. Traditionally, it was believed that protecting the body against harmful self-compounds,
which cause nerve degeneration in acute and chronic conditions, was not part of the immune system's function and that
immune cell activity may further exacerbate the degenerative process. However, Prof. Schwartz has shown that the natural
activity of the immune system can protect nerve cells against degeneration and help in recovery following CNS trauma.
Consequently, the immune system may be harnessed to attenuate neuronal loss in diseases such as
Sclerosis (ALS), Parkinson's disease and glaucoma. The concept of helping the body to "cure" itself (spinal nerve regeneration), offers hope to the
millions of victims of nervous system-related disorders.