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Eye for Growth: New protein prompts optic nerve regrowth

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8:39am, May 17, 2006

A protein recently isolated from white blood cells could offer a new way to repair nerve cells damaged by injury or disease.

Like most neurons in the central nervous system, those that form the bundle that connects each eye to the brain don't regrow their long, spindly axons, which carry electrical signals, if they become injured. Since this bundle, called the optic nerve, is more accessible than are nerves inside the skull or spine, scientists have long used it as a model to investigate why other damaged nerves don't regenerate.

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