Neuroregeneration Research

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Neuroscientists at the Henry Ford Neuroregeneration Research Center have pioneered the field of neuroregeneration, sometimes called neurorestoration, research.

This research seeks to develop new drug and cell therapies that work to remodel and restore the brain and spinal cord after stroke, injury and disease. Henry Ford remains one of the few leading centers in the U.S. in neuroregeneration research, working to bring new therapies to patients with neurological disease.

What is neuroregeneration therapy?

The best way to understand the highly complex process of neuroregeneration therapy and how it works on the brain is to compare it to the home remodeling process done on a damaged house. For example, new plumbing mechanisms (blood vessels), new electrical connections (synapses), and new rooms (brain cells) may be required to regain function.

Neuroregeneration research offers new hope

Neuroscientists at the Henry Ford Neuroregeneration Research Center spent decades creating experimental models of stroke, head trauma, spinal cord injury, Parkinson's disease, multiple sclerosis and brain cancer. These models are tested with different types of neuroregenerative cell and drug therapies. From these studies, scientists have learned that brain and spine function, once damaged, can indeed be replaced and restored.

Henry Ford neuroregeneration highlights:

  • In 2001, Michael Chopp, MD, received an award from the American Heart Association for one of the top 10 most important research studies of that year.
  • In 2003, Dr. Chopp and his team received the first National Institutes of Health (NIH) Project Grant Award in the U.S. for this work in the area of brain injury as seen in stroke and head trauma.
  • In 2005, Henry Ford provided the first clinical trial of neuroregenerative drug therapy for ischemic stroke patients, and in 2006 provided the second drug trial for patients with hemorrhagic stroke and a third drug trial for patients with traumatic head injury.