Spinal cord injuries are some of the most devastating types of personal injuries. Mild spinal cord injuries can cause pain and suffering that linger for years, if not a lifetime. Some injuries even result in paralysis.
However, researchers may have found the key to help future spinal-cord injury survivors. An innovative experiment uncovered a promising new medical treatment. Researchers discovered a method that can regrow the nerve cells spanning a spinal cord injury.
Regrowing damaged cells
The researchers began by studying the spinal cords of rats and mice. They found that a specific type of nerve cell can improve the damaged signal between the spine and brain. Even in cases where the connection to the brain had completely severed, this type of cell could create a new, albeit limited, signal.
The scientists expanded their tests to other mammals, and, after several failed attempts, began to achieve similar results. While the team is still studying the reaction in humans, they managed to make multiple neurons to bridge gaps in human spinal cord injuries.
Hope for survivors
Hundreds of Pennsylvanians suffer spinal cord injuries every year due to in motor vehicle accidents, pedestrian accidents, slip and falls or medical malpractice. Medical treatment and hospital bills can cost hundreds of thousands of dollars. In addition, victims experience pain and suffering, lost wages and emotional trauma.
Currently, there is no treatment to completely restore the use of a spinal cord after an injury causes paralysis. When another party's negligence inflicts such an injury, the survivor must suffer the repercussions for life. This new research is a cause for hope for numerous survivors in Allentown and beyond.