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Nerve Allograft

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Evolution of Nerve Allograft

A nerve allograft (a graft from a donor) may be used from a living or dead donor. If the allograft is inserted fresh, with all the nerve cells intact, the patient, like an organ recipient, will often have to be on medication that reduces the activity of the immune system. Otherwise, the patient’s immune cells will attack and destroy the foreign tissue of the allograft.

These medications often have severe side effects and increase the risks of serious infections. However, if the allograft is prepared in a way that removes the cells but preserves the connective tissue structure, the immune system will not attack. The connective tissue structure then provides a scaffold for the nerve cells to regenerate and grow beyond the gap.

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