Jamaican-Canadian scientist is trailblazer in damaged nerve repair

Dr. Patrice Smith


A Jamaican-born scientist living in Canada, Dr. Patrice Smith,  has discovered a new way to repair damaged nerves.

The research is significant because it will help repair brain and spinal-cord injuries from accidents or those that occur as a result of the natural ageing process.

Dr. Patrice Smith working with colleagues at Harvard University have discovered a way to repair damaged nerves by allowing the adult brain to respond to repair signals that are blocked after injury. 

She notes that when the brain or spinal cord is damaged, this repair message is blocked. 

Dr. Smith explained that, as we get older, we lose the ability to repair damage to the brain and spinal cord, because our nervous system actively prevents the immune system from sending out repair messages.

Dr. Smith and her colleagues discovered the blocking mechanism is a molecule called SOCS3.

In the absence of SOCS3, the damaged nerves were able to regenerate themselves. 

Read more here.