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Stem cells may offer hope for spinal cord injury relief

People in Delaware who have suffered a spinal cord injury are likely to stay up-to-date on the latest news regarding the spinal cord injury research community. Recently, a report has been published that shows there may be renewed hope in combatting the often-debilitating effects of spinal cord injuries.

Those who undergo an injury to the spinal cord frequently suffer from numbness and varying degrees of paralysis. There may be many other effects of spinal cord injuries as well, such as bladder dysfunction and neuropathic pain. Scientists, though, have recently published research showing that human stem cells might be able to help alleviate these two symptoms of SCI.

Often, the problems caused by spinal cord injuries are due to the lack of GABA, a neurotransmitter, in the spinal cord. When embryonic stem cells are differentiated into certain other cells that produce GABA, neuropathic pain and bladder dysfunction may be lessened. Cells known as neural precursors were placed into the injured spinal cords of mice, and researchers observed that these cells became integrated into the spinal cords. The mice that had been treated in such a manner generally showed more bladder control and reduced sensitivity to pain.

Are stem cells the answer to human spinal cord injury? That remains to be seen, but research appears promising for the many accident victims who must cope with the reality of spinal cord injury, and the long-term medical care it requires every day.

For accident victims who have recently suffered a spinal cord injury, speaking with an attorney may help alleviate some of the fears of not knowing or understanding one's legal options with regard to compensation.

Source: Science Daily, "Human Stem Cells Treat Spinal Cord Side Effects in Mice," Oct. 3, 2016

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