Monthly Archives: November 2003
The treated monkeys, which had suffered paralysis in one hand, regained 80 per cent of the movement they had lost.
Up to 12 months of further study is needed to confirm these results and, in particular, to see if there are any serious side effects.
“This is one more step on a very long road,” cautioned Eric Rouiller, professor of neurophysiology at Fribourg University.
BY PAULA BRADY – Staff Reporter
A new study by Yale researchers has found a possible explanation for chronic pain in patients with spinal cord injuries.
Conduction of signals in nerve cells is controlled by molecular “batteries” called sodium channels. The study found that injured nerve cells tend to produce more sodium channels that transmit pain signals to the brain, resulting in chronic pain after injury.
Scientists say they have successfully restored feeling to patients paralysed for at least two years.
A team from the University of San Paulo in Brazil said 12 out of 30 spinal cord patients responded to electrical stimulation of their paralysed limbs.
The researchers harvested stem cells from the patients’ blood, and reintroduced them into the artery supplying the area which was damaged.
People who suffer spinal cord injuries may have a greater chance of recovery if treated with drugs that block the body’s own Immune Response to the initial trauma, researchers from the Reeve-Irvine Research Center at UC Irvine have found.
In addition, UCI neurologist Hans Keirstead and immunologist Thomas Lane have laid the foundation for these drugs by creating antibodies that, when tested on rats, stopped the secondary nerve and spinal cord damage caused by the immune system response. Use of these antibodies resulted in significantly improved rates of recovery.
Every day more than thirty people become paralyzed from spinal cord injury (SCI) or disease. SCI generally results in one of two types of paralysis:
1. Paraplegia paralysis affecting the legs and lower part of the body;
2. Tetraplegia paralysis affecting the level below the neck and chest area, involving both the arms and legs.
The majority of people with SCI use wheelchairs for mobility, thus, they encounter many obstacles and barriers in everyday life. Among the most difficult barriers are those involving the public’s misperceptions and attitudes.
When spinal cord injury (SCI) occurs, one of the most difficult issues to deal with is that there is no “cure” at the present time. One would think that with the explosion in scientific knowledge we hear of every day someone would find a cure for people with SCI. If we can achieve the impossible in other areas like transplanting entire organs and organ systems from one person to another and isolating human genes, why can’t we figure out why the spinal cord does not repair itself and then do something to correct this biological problem? Compared to a lot of the scientific puzzles that have been solved, it shouldn’t be all that difficult.
After a spinal cord injury, three primary areas of nutritional concern are: regulation of bowel habits, skin care, and weight management. Dietary habits affect how these problems are prevented and managed.
Bowel management is an everyday concern for those with a spinal cord injury. The time required for food to move through the gut is slower after a spinal cord injury. If the bowel is not emptied on a regular basis, hard stools, and impaction may occur. Sometimes diarrhea occurs with impaction. This type of diarrhea may be incorrectly treated with an anti-diarrheal medication.
This InfoSheet is based in large part on “Pain Following Spinal Cord Injury: Clinical Features, Prevalence, and Taxonomy”* by Philip J. Siddal, Robert P. Yezierski, and John D. Loeser and edited by Michael C. Rowbotham, MD and Annika Malmberg, PhD. It was published in the International Association for the Study of Pain (IASP) newsletter, Issue 3, 2000. www.halcyon.com/iasp. Updated: May 2001
What is Pain
Paid is an unpleasant sensory and emotional experience associated with actual or potential tissue damage. In general, people can experience acute and chronic pain.
Paralyzed from the neck down and still dependent on a respirator, actor Christopher Reeve is nevertheless a man with much work to do. “I can’t get down to my office the way I used to,” he said in a telephone interview earlier this month from his home outside New York City. “But set up in the corner of my living room – from one station, I’m able to make phone calls, to fax, to return phone calls and to write letters . . . It really is one-stop shopping. It puts me in touch with the world.”
Reeve, who suffered a severe spinal cord injury after a horse-riding accident in May 199 5, is learning to use DragonDictate, speech recognition software that allows hands-free computer, phone, fax and printer operation. It is manufactured by a Newton firm, Dragon Systems Inc.
Running boosts nerve talk in injured rats.
Exercise speeds the recovery of rats with spinal cord injuries, a new study suggests. Regular runs prompt the release of chemicals that help damaged nerve cells communicate. The finding adds to evidence that workouts may hasten Rehabilitation in humans with spinal cord injuries.
Every year in the United States alone, around 15,000 people damage their spine. Physical Therapy improves muscle strength and reduces pain, but most are left with some degree of permanent paralysis.