Spinal cord injury diagnoses are often discouraging. An injured spinal cord can cause paralysis, including paraplegia and quadriplegia. They can also be extremely costly to treat. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), a spinal cord injury victim may pay up to $30,000 a year and more than $3 million over the course of her life.
A recent development, however, offers new hope for victims of spinal injuries. A drug partially funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) has showed promising results in lab rats.
How Does the New Spinal Cord Injury Treatment Work?
The cells that make up the nerves in the spinal column contain axons, which transmit signals to one another. This is how the brain tells an arm or leg to move. When a spinal cord injury occurs, these axons are damaged, and scars build up between them, creating a roadblock of sorts that prevents signals from getting to where they need to go.
This new drug works by targeting one of the proteins involved in creating these roadblocking scars and allowing signals to once again move freely. In clinical trials involving rats, the drug spurred partial growth in the axons, leading to renewed mobility. Rats given a placebo did not show any improvement.
While this is an extremely promising development, it will likely need several more years of research before it can help humans. Victims of spine injuries have a long road ahead of them, and our firm has experience helping these victims establish a stable foundation as they move forward from the pain and trauma.
Metier Law Firm, LLC – Injury Attorneys Serving Clients Nationwide
Did You Know? Nearly a quarter of the spinal cord injuries that afflict Americans were at least partially caused by alcohol consumption.