One of the most serious injuries that a person can suffer is a spinal cord injury. When this vital neurological conduit is damaged, it can have repercussions on many of the body’s systems such as the respiratory, urinary, muscular, and gastrointestinal. Additionally, such an injury can mean expensive life-long treatment for the sufferer, costing an average of $30,000 per year to treat according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Promising new research
Unfortunately, once the spinal cord has been damaged, there is currently no way to reverse the damage. As a result, there has been numerous research commissioned to find a way to help find a way for spinal cord injury victims to make a recovery from their injuries.
Recently, researchers have announced that they may have discovered a way to help nerves regenerate in mice that have suffered spinal cord injuries. They hope that this new technique will one day offer promise to humans as well.
The research focused on the bladders of the mice, as when the spinal cord is damaged, the bladder is one of the organs most affected. The spinal cord is vital to carry messages from the brain that allow the body to maintain bladder control. When the spinal cord is damaged, loss of bladder control is a common result.
In the research, recently published in The Journal of Neuroscience, spinal cord nerve regrowth in mice was achieved by injecting a combination of enzymes and a growth factor at the site of the injury. Once the scientists added a graft to the site, the spinal cord nerves grew back up to 12 millimeters.
As a result of the regrowth, the mice were 40 percent more capable of controlling and emptying their bladders. Although the treatment did not restore their ability to walk, the mice were able to hold three times as much urine in their bladders than untreated mice.
In the future, researchers hope that such treatments will achieve a similar effect in humans.
Consult an attorney
The majority of spinal cord injuries in humans are caused by accidents such as car accidents, sports injuries, falls, and violence, according to the CDC. Unfortunately, many such accidents are the result of someone else’s negligence. Fortunately, Arizona law allows those injured by negligence to recover damages for the considerable medical bills and life-long care that such an injury necessitates.
If you or a loved one have suffered a catastrophic injury, contact an experienced personal injury attorney. An attorney can advise you of your right to compensation and work to hold the responsible party accountable for his or her carelessness.