Monthly Archives: May 2020
Imagine making plans to go somewhere new, taking the journey to get there and arriving— only to be stuck outside, prevented from sitting with family or being unable to access the restroom. It’s a deeply frustrating experience I’ve had many times since becoming a wheelchair user in 2009. And it’s an experience all too familiar to the 130 million wheelchair users worldwide and the more than 30 million Americans who have difficulty using stairs.
Scientists have discovered a new treatment to dramatically reduce swelling after brain and spinal cord injuries, offering hope to 75 million victims worldwide each year.
The breakthrough in treating such injuries – referred to as central nervous system (CNS) edema – is thought to be hugely significant because current options are limited to putting patients in an induced coma or performing risky surgery.
Spinal cord injuries can have lasting and devastating effects on mobility and cognitive function due to permanent nerve cell damage or death. A new study from researchers at Temple University now shows how neuronal connections can be regenerated after such injuries.
Neurons contain structural appendages called axons which form connections with each other throughout the brain and greater parts of the body. These axons form an interconnected communication system that regulates sensory and motor functions; injury to axons can result in their breakage, leading to irreversible damage.
Two top scientists at the University of Virginia School of Medicine are seeking answers to questions about spinal cord injuries that have long frustrated the development of effective treatments.
The scientists, Jonathan Kipnis, PhD, and Kodi Ravichandran, PhD, are teaming up to understand why critical nerve cells called neurons continue to die after spinal cord injuries. So little is known that doctors aren’t even certain if the body’s immune response is beneficial or harmful.