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Breakthrough Spinal Cord Injury Research at UC San Diego

UPDATE: August 20, 2020
“In a new study, published August 5, 2020 in Cell Stem Cell , researchers at University of California San Diego School of Medicine report successfully implanting highly specialized grafts of neural stem cells directly into spinal cord injuries in mice, then documenting how the grafts grew and filled the injury sites, integrating with and mimicking the animals’ existing neuronal network.” Read more on the UCSD website.


Spinal cord injury research is always evolving, and news from UC San Diego gives even more hope to people with spinal cord injuries.

UCSD scientists say they have discovered a way to enable nerve fibers to grow AFTER a severe spinal cord injury has occurred. Their study was conducted on rats. Scientists used stem cells – in the form of a gel application – to rewire the rats’ central nervous systems, allowing them to grow new nerve cells and to regain some movement in the areas below their spinal cord injuries.

The next step?

New experiments that will indicate whether this type of “rewiring” can be replicated in humans. The UCSD researchers have been awarded $4.7 million to move forward with their next phase of research.

This news is a huge boon for the hundreds of thousands of American who suffer complete or partial paralysis from spinal cord injuries. It’s the next step to finding a spinal injury cure. It’s also news that I – a San Diego spinal injury attorney – will follow closely in the years to come.

Steven Elia

Steven Elia

Mr. Elia has extensive litigation experience having appeared at more than 1,000 civil hearings including jury and bench trials, over 500 depositions, and hundreds of mediations. Some of his cases have made national headlines. He specializes in personal injury, business law and civil litigation in and around San Diego.