Monthly Archives: April 2006
Exciting advances in the research effort to develop and refine novel techniques for repairing injured spinal cords have led to promising strategies for regenerating damaged neural tissue, inhibiting scar tissue formation, repairing underlying molecular defects, and restoring function, which are presented and evaluated in a special four-part compendium of papers in the March/April 2006 double Spinal Cord issue (Volume 23, Number 3/4) of Journal of Neurotrauma, a peer-reviewed journal published by Mary Ann Liebert, Inc.
Recent research using stem-cell technology in rats with spinal-cord injuries has allowed them to walk again within two weeks. The results of the study show promise for people with traumatic spinal-cord injuries.
According to lead author Dr. Stephen Davies, assistant professor of neurosurgery at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston the rats were given immature immune system support cells called astrocytes and this resulted in a 40-percent rise in nerve-fiber growth at the site of the injury in only eight days.
Purdue University researchers are working to develop a drug that could reverse some spinal cord injuries as well as other neurological traumas.
Richard Borgens, founder of the Center for Paralysis Research and a leader of the team, said the team got the idea for the new drug after discovering that a blood pressure medication called hydralazine can act as an antidote to acrolein, a poison that damaged nerve cells release to destroy themselves.
New Type of Cells Repair Injuries
Researchers have found that transplanting a certain type of immature support cell from the Central Nervous System could regenerate more than 60% of the nerves that are damaged after a spinal cord injury. Amazingly, two thirds of the nerve fibers grew all the way through the injury sites eight days later.
This is more promising than previous research, according to the University of Rochester researchers in New York. Rats that received the cell transplants also walked normally after two weeks.
WAVERLY, Ill. (BP)–Jacki Rabon was riding with some friends in the back of an SUV in August 2003 when she was thrown out of the vehicle as it veered off the road. She skidded a few feet and landed near a ditch, and her life was suddenly changed.
“Right away, I knew I couldn’t feel my legs because I couldn’t get up,” Rabon, 18, told Baptist Press. “I went to sit up and then my back hurt too bad to sit up, so I knew something was wrong.”
She was rushed to one hospital and then another, where she underwent emergency surgery to repair the damage. Her mother had to break the news to Rabon that she was paralyzed.
“I knew there was a possibility before I had surgery, but I asked her after surgery if the doctor fixed it, and that’s when she told me that he fixed my back but I still was paralyzed,” she said.
WASHINGTON, DC, United States (UPI) — A new stem-cell technology has allowed rats with spinal-cord injuries to walk again within two weeks, an advance that could one day help people with traumatic spinal-cord injuries.
The rats that were given immature immune system support cells, or astrocytes, experienced a 40-percent rise in nerve-fiber growth at the site of the injury in just eight days.
NEW YORK (Reuters Health) – A variety of factors, including age at injury and type of bladder drainage, appear to influence the risk of urinary stone formation in men with spinal cord injury, Korean researchers report in the April issue of the British Journal of Urology International.
Dr. Hong B. Shim of Seoul Veterans Hospital and colleagues note that recent medical advances have greatly increased survival in such patients. However, they are Prone to urological complications, particularly stone formation.
Every time I turn around I seem to read about some paralyzed person who’s traveled to a far-flung country for a miracle treatment not available in the United States. “I can now wiggle a toe! I’m improving!” they exclaim.
Meanwhile, I stay put in my wheelchair, albeit restlessly, in Charleston. Having been paralyzed from the shoulders down since suffering a C3 contusion injury to my neck in 1996, you might ask what the heck I’m waiting for. Am I a masochist? Possibly. But have you ever read a follow-up story about long-term Functional gains achieved by one of these treatments? If none come to mind, it’s not because you have a bad memory.
Although his spinal cord injury is similar to that of Christopher Reeve, Ben Trockman has shown “phenomenal” strength, courage and attitude, his father said.
Trockman, 17, of Evansville, suffered a broken neck March 19 during a motorcycle crash in Poole, Ky. He now is in the Shepherd Center, a catastrophic-care Rehabilitation hospital in Atlanta.