Increasing Axon Regeneration CapacityIncreasing the natural intrinsic regenerative ability of dorsal root ganglion (DRG) neurons can be achieved by conditioning injury within the peripheral nerves of the CNS, such as the sciatic nerve. Doing this allows the upregulation of regeneration-associated genes (RAGs) that can drive an increased potential for nerve regeneration of DRG neurons after a CNS injury.
This, however, whilst powerful for understating the mechanism of axonal regeneration in experimental animal models, is not a clinically viable option for humans.
Proprioceptive afferent feedback (from sensory DRG neurons) can modulate motor outputs within the spinal cord via the production of molecular cues. The feedback influences the adjustment and refinement of motor learning and movement. As such, this feedback can also play a critical role in directing motor recovery post-SCI. Indeed both clinical and animal studies stimulating proprioceptive afferents electrically have demonstrated enhanced motor recovery and neuroplasticity after SCI.