Research Points to Insulin Growth Factor to Heal Peripheral Nerve Injuries

Karim Sarhane
Dr. Karim Sarhane

As a Surgeon-Scientist, Karim Sarhane, MD, has researched extensively on the most salient medical topics, including the peripheral nervous system to improve the regenerative process. In addition to his roles as a General and Advanced Laparoscopic Surgeon at the Burjeel Royal Hospital in Abu Dhabi, UAE, Dr. Karim Sarhane has engaged in academia and written papers, such as “Insulin-Like Growth Factor-1: A Promising Therapeutic Target for Peripheral Nerve Injury” published in the June 2021 issue of Frontiers in Bioengineering Biotechnology. The paper focuses on using insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1) to treat peripheral nerve injuries (PNI). IGF-1, along with growth hormone, promotes bone and tissue growth. PNI injuries impact 67,800 people in the US alone, with victims experiencing severe sensory and motor loss. Outside of surgery, researchers believed there were no other regenerative treatments to repair peripheral nerve damage until now. After reviewing 56 studies, researchers found IGF-1 treatments to be an ideal candidate for treating PNI injuries because of their ability to improve nerve regeneration and denervated muscles (loss of nerve supply that causes lack of physiological dysfunction) and to reduce atrophy (degeneration of muscles and cells tissues). The treatment also has positive impacts, preventing Schwann cell (SC) apoptosis or cell death. SCs are the cells responsible for creating the myelin sheath around nerve cells (neuron-axon) and can foster axonal growth.

Karim Sarhane, MD

Karim Sarhane

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