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Scientists working on remedies for severe brain injuries

Any interruption in brain function signifies damage. For some people in New York, a traumatic brain injury causes them to permanently lose the ability to remember, think and process information, effectively destroying their way of life. According to NBC News, scientists are searching for ways to reverse brain damage, even in the most serious cases. In fact, one company plans to conduct experiments on people who are brain dead in the hopes that they can develop methods of regenerating new brain cells.

Those who are considered brain dead may have other body processes sustained by medical devices, but have no brain function at all. Because brain cells do not regenerate, once they have died, the damage is permanent. However, scientists believe they may be able to stimulate new brain cell growth through the use of stem cells. While critics question the ethics of performing research on human subjects, many believe that stem cell research could produce results for those with more limited damage from TBIs or stroke.

Research reported by ScienceDaily focuses on the regeneration of neurons to prompt the body to repair brain injuries. Scientists have discovered there are signals that can recreate the connections or fibers between the cells, helping some to regenerate, but killing others in the process. The early tests have been done using models based on mice. So far, researchers have not found a way to stop the destruction of the surviving nerve cells when the damaged cells are treated. However, the reprogramming of the nerve cells may eventually be a solution that leads to their restoration.

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