Four months after treating them, Yasuhiro Shiga, MD, PhD, checked on his rats. Walking into the lab, he carried minimal expectations. Treating spinal cord injuries with stem cells had been tried by many people, many times before, with modest success at best. The endpoint he was specifically there to measure — pain levels — hadn’t seemed to budge in past efforts.
ANN ARBOR—An injection of nanoparticles can prevent the body’s immune system from overreacting to trauma, potentially preventing some spinal cord injuries from resulting in paralysis.
The approach was demonstrated in mice at the University of Michigan, with the nanoparticles enhancing healing by reprogramming the aggressive immune cells—call it an “EpiPen” for trauma to the central nervous system, which includes the brain and spinal cord.
In the hours and days following a spinal cord injury, the gears that control the body’s internal clocks fall profoundly out of sync, impacting body temperature, hormone fluctuation, immunity and the timing of a host of other bodily processes, according to new CU Boulder research.
The study, funded by the U.S. Department of Defense and published Monday in the journal eNeuro, is among the first to comprehensively assess how spinal injury impacts circadian rhythms, or the 24-hour-cycles of physiological processes. If replicated in humans, the findings could lead to new “chronotherapies” to reset off-kilter clocks and potentially improve long-term recovery.
Findings could have significant impact on how spinal cord injuries are treated in the future
Inflammation plays a key role in improving the ability to relearn motor skills lost as a result of spinal cord injuries, such as grasping objects, new University of Alberta research shows.
U of A spinal cord researchers Karim Fouad, a Canada Research Chair in the Faculty of Rehabilitation Medicine, and Abel Torres Espín studied inflammation and rehabilitation training in rodents and discovered that creating a mild inflammatory response improved a rat’s ability to relearn how to pick up pellets months following a spinal cord injury.
A trauma to the spinal cord, quickly leads to a progressive loss of nerve tissue. This not only affects the injured area, but over time affects also other parts of the spinal cord and even the brain. These neurodegenerative changes can be explored in detail using magnetic resonance imaging. An international team of researchers headed up by Patrick Freund from the Spinal Cord Injury Center of the University of Zurich and the Balgrist University Hospital has now for the first time investigated the extent and progression of microstructural changes over the first two years after a spinal cord injury.
Injection after an injury reduces inflammation and scarring
After a spinal cord injury, a significant amount of secondary nerve damage is caused by inflammation and internal scarring that inhibits the ability of the nervous system to repair itself.
A biodegradable nanoparticle injected after a spinal cord trauma prevented the inflammation and internal scarring that inhibits the repair process, reports a new Northwestern Medicine study.
A UCLA professor is working to develop a treatment for spinal cord injuries, which are currently incurable.
Stephanie Seidlits, assistant professor of bioengineering, will attempt to use biomaterial made out of hyaluronic acid – a long chain of sugars in the body – to create a treatment that can be injected into spinal cords. Seidlits will conduct the research with students using a $500,000 grant she won March 1.
The prestigious CAREER award, granted by the National Science Foundation, aims to support scholars who effectively integrate research with education.
Queensland researchers are launching a world-first clinical trial aimed at improving recovery from spinal cord injuries.
In the study, led by The University of Queensland and The Princess Alexandra (PA) Hospital, a new anti-inflammatory drug will be given to participants within hours of spinal trauma in an effort to minimize tissue damage.
‘Spinal tap’ saving crash victims from life in a wheelchair: Breakthrough nerve-preserving procedure could...
Spinal injury victims could be spared from paralysis thanks to a breakthrough nerve- preserving procedure developed by British doctors. It is the first treatment to tackle inflammation of the spinal cord, which can occur in the hours and days after an accident, causing irreversible damage.
Given in these crucial hours, the ‘spinal tap’ procedure works by reducing the pressure build-up within the spinal column caused by swelling and so preserves vital nerve function.
Treatment proven in lab to assist recovery and could be part of cure alongside other research, say experts.
Kiwi and Australian researchers have developed a protein-based drug that offers a potential breakthrough treatment for those with severe brain and spinal cord injuries.
University of Auckland researcher Dr Simon O’Carroll said the drug, which could be injected straight into the blood stream or taken as a pill soon after an injury, could reduce damage, scarring and improve recovery.