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Coleman Laboratory


What Is Wallerian Degeneration?

When a nerve is cut or compressed the fibres within it die and lose their connectivity. These fibres and the connections between them are important for everything we do, from thinking and imagining to using our senses, moving and feeling pain. When these connections are lost or impaired then we start to lose the capacity to carry out these functions. A major interest of our group has been to identify the specific changes that  within the nerve fibres that cause them to die. Intriguingly, the processes that occur in injured fibres also appear to occur in a number of neurodegenerative diseases, including Parkinson’s disease, glaucoma, motor neuron disease, peripheral neuropathies and multiple sclerosis. Therefore, we hope that studying the changes that occur after injury might lead to the development of new therapies for these disorders.