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Protein in human hair shows promise for regenerating nerves

January 11, 2008

A protein found in human hair shows promise for promoting the regeneration of nerve tissue and could lead to a new treatment option when nerves are cut or crushed from trauma.
In the current issue of Biomaterials, scientists from Wake Forest University School of Medicine reported that in animal studies the protein keratin was able to speed up nerve regeneration and improve nerve function compared to current treatment options.
“We found that the nerve repair happened more quickly and consistently, and that functional recovery was higher,” said Mark Van Dyke, Ph.D., senior author and an assistant professor of regenerative medicine. “The fact that we were able to accomplish this with gels made from keratin is pretty remarkable.”


California Girl Named 2008 MDA National Goodwill Ambassador

January 8, 2008

Jerry-Lewis_Abbey-Umali.jpgThe Muscular Dystrophy Association’s 2008 National Goodwill Ambassador is Abbey Umali of Redlands, Calif., a lively and articulate 8-year-old with a form of Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease.
Abbey is the first MDA national goodwill ambassador to hail from California in the program’s 55-year history. She and her family will travel the country throughout the year, representing families affected by neuromuscular diseases and served by MDA, participating in special events and meetings of national MDA sponsors and speaking with the media.