|SCI not only damages neural cell bodies directly at the site of injury but also disrupts descending and ascending axonal pathways that traverse the injury site. The clinical consequences of the injury are often permanent loss of sensory, motor, and autonomic function because the adult mammalian central nervous system (CNS) is unable to regenerate severed axons. When axons within the CNS are transected, they exhibit an initial minimal growth response (sprouting). Functional loss after SCI results from the initial direct damage of the cord and a secondary cascade of inflammation and excitotoxic damage that considerably worsens the extent of damage and cell loss. Stem cells are the source of all cells in an organism, and theoretically they have the potential to differentiate into functionally competent cells of different types throughout an individualâs whole life.
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