Scientists at the Stanford University in the second week of January 2013, California developed an experimental drug called LM11A-31 which is claimed to help paralysed people reclaim their movements. The new drug enabled the mice which had no movements in lower limbs, to walk again with the coordinated steps. The mice were even able to imitate the swimming motions.
In a 42-days long experiment, the scientists gave three doses of the drug to different groups of the mice starting at four hours post injury and later twice every day. In the tests, it was also observed that the medication did not cause any pain in mice. Also, there were no toxic effects on them.
Blood brain barrier, which is responsible for protecting the central nervous system (CNS) from harmful chemicals carried in the bloodstream, was also crossed efficiently. This is for the very first time that the oral drug was observed to provide effective therapy like this. This is therefore said to be the first drug that if taken orally, produced functional improvement leading to no toxicity in rodent model.
Apart from this, the scientists tested the small molecule for the ability to avoid death of cells known as oligodendrocytes. Oligodendrocytes actually are the cells which surround as well as provide protection to the axons, which are long projections of the nerve cells. Protection is provided to axons by wrapping them in myelin sheath which provides protection to the fibres.