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Researchers working on new treatment for spinal cord injury

Few injuries are more devastating than those that leave victims paralyzed. Medicine -- up until now -- has not been able to find a cure for those patients who have suffered a spinal cord injury. However, if new research continues to show results, then some patients in Massachusetts may one day walk again.

The problem doctors and researchers have been unable to overcome was the inability of nerves to regenerate sufficiently to allow patients to regain their mobility. This fact has led to sufferers accepting life in a wheelchair or worse, depending on the severity and location of their injury. Several years ago, actor Christopher Reeves succumbed to complications after suffering his own spinal cord injury in a riding accident.

However, the work of some researchers in one university may one day allow these patients to walk once more. These scientists have developed a treatment that has shown surprising results when it is injected into rats. The subcutaneous injections have resulted in these experimental subjects not just regaining control of their bladder function, but they have also helped them to regain mobility. The researchers have managed to encourage nerve fibers to reach beyond scar tissue build-up in order to regenerate and aid recovery of the damaged tissue and nerves.

The human trials of this treatment are an estimated 10 years away. Massachusetts families that have had their lives tragically altered by a spinal cord injury may now have hope that the future might be a bit brighter. For now, though, victims will continue to cope with the physical limitations wrought by their injury. If the disability came about through the proved negligence of another party, the victim -- or his or her family -- may seek to recoup the monetary damages that resulted from the injury through a personal injury civil suit. Until science can alleviate the physical suffering caused by these injuries, a successful litigation may provide the funds needed to ensure that one's extensive medical needs will be met for the foreseeable future.

Source: kvue.com, "Spinal cord injury drug shows promising lab results", Jim Bergamo, Dec. 8, 2014

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