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Nerve Fibers are Re-Grown after Spinal Cord Injuries


Researchers at the University of Michigan Medical School and Johns Hopkins University have successfully developed a treatment that helps animals with traumatic spinal cord injuries. The treatment actually allows new nerve fibers to grow in replacement of destroyed ones.

Brachial plexus avulsion is an injury that occurs when an arm is pulled violently away from the body. In people, the injury occurs most often in motorcycle accidents or during childbirth.

The implications of this study for people who may face amputation of an appendage or those who suffer a brachial plexus injury are far-reaching and exciting.

New York Birth Injury Law Offices are incredibly interested in this new study and the implications for their clients. Should this procedure be found effective, they can seek help to pay for the treatment from those who were responsible in causing it.

Researchers mimicked the brachial plexus avulsion injury in their study because it involves nerves at the boundary between the spinal cord and the peripheral nervous system, the part of the nervous system that connects to the rest of the body.

During the study, rats with nerve injuries that received a nerve-transplant combined with a dose of an enzyme called sialidase, grew more than twice as many new nerve fibers in the spinal cord when compared to untreated rats.

In addition to that, researchers found that the new fibers were made by nerve cells residing in the spinal cord. In short, this treatment seems to be stimulating the growth of cells that already exist in the body.

While surgeons can often reattach the yanked nerves to the spinal cord, the surgery is not as effective as physicians and patients would like because nerves in the brain and spinal cord, unlike those in the rest of the body, fail to grow new nerve fibers. If a severed finger is reattached, nerve fibers there typically grow back and the finger becomes usable again.

In contrast, the injured brain and spinal cord are rocky terrain for nerve fiber growth because nerves in those areas are surrounded by signals from other cells in the injured area that stop them from growing. Molecules in the spinal cord, called axon regeneration inhibitors, ARIs, are known to stop nerve fibers from growing. Spinal Injury in hospitals in Brooklyn and The Bronx happen all the time during child birth.

The researchers tested three enzymes, including sialidase, which are known to destroy ARIs. Rats that received a nerve transplant followed by treatment with sialidase showed the greatest improvement in nerve re-growth.

This study provides hope for the families of those whose loved ones suffer serious physical ailment because of the carelessness of others. New York Birth Injury Law Offices will continue to monitor the results of this study and others like it. In the meantime, contact a New York Birth Injury Attorney today with your questions, concerns and needs. They’ll be sure to offer you professional and dedicated services.

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