In this medical video learn how a new development in research has greatly advanced how close we are to making some one who is paralysis walk again.
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Jennifer Matthews: Neuroscientist Mary Bartlett Bunge has found her passion at the Miami Project to cure paralysis. A recent discovery may have put her on the map. Dr. Mary Bartlett Bunge: I think these are the most exciting findings that I have seen in my laboratory in my 15 years on the Miami project. Jennifer Matthews: In a three-year study, Bunge restored walking ability in paralyzed rats to up to 70 percent normal function. Dr. Mary Bartlett Bunge: To see something for the first time is a creative and thrilling experience. Jennifer Matthews: The therapy combines three treatments believed to help paralysis. One of those treatments is Schwann cells. Dr. Mary Bartlett Bunge: Schwann cells enable regeneration of neuro-fibers in the peripheral nervous system, that is in your legs and arms. Jennifer Matthews: Cyclic AMP is also used. It's injected into the spinal cord to improve the growth of neuro-fibers. And the antidepressant rolipram is used to maintain the AMP at high levels. Dr. Mary Bartlett Bunge: This finding opens up new possibilities for treating humans with spinal cord injury. Jennifer Matthews: Dan Castellanos was paralyzed more than 20 years ago. He's now a researcher himself at the Miami Project and calls Bunge's research a breakthrough. Dr. Dan Castellanos: I think it is revolutionary and it comes at a really important time. Jennifer Matthews: He's excited about the implications. Dr. Dan Castellanos: I think it shows great potential and I think it is a good time to be here and it is a good time to be watching. Jennifer Matthews: You can bet both scientists and patients are going to be watching and waiting. This is Jennifer Matthews reporting.