It was once thought that nerve cells would not regenerate. Slowly this idea has been changing. In MND nerve cells that control motor function progressively die.
At the Okayama University Graduate School of Medicine researchers are examining the possibility that nerve cells lost during progression of MND can regenerate. In their studies they have found all the right signs to suggest that neurones are trying to regenerate in mutant SOD1 MND mice, but eventually the neurones give up and are all lost to the disease. The encouraging thing is that the regenerative capacity is present in the spinal chord so if a treatment is found, although it will not be possible to regain all muscle function, the remaining neurons may be able to regenerate.
Source: International MND research update -December 2009, Dr Justin Yerbury for MNDRIA