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Spinal cord injury scarring could be limited, study says

On Behalf of | Nov 15, 2012 | Spinal Cord Injury

One of the most debilitating injuries a person can experience is a spinal cord injury. Car accidents, slip-and-fall incidents, many other adverse events – the number of situations in which a person can become exposed to a spinal cord injury are higher than most people think and this is alarming to some in Ohio.

Perhaps one of the most alarming things about spinal cord injuries is that they can happen to a person while she or he is on the job. Such an injury while working would likely result in the filing of a workers’ compensation claim so that time can be taken to assess the situation and determine how serious the damage is. Some people who sustain spinal cord injuries are paralyzed for the rest of their lives while others lose some motor skills and have to rehabilitate.

Researchers do not fully understand the spinal cord injury as of yet, but studies are being conducted on a regular basis with the hopes that there will one day be a successful and complete cure. The issue is that spinal cord tissue is prone to scarring soon after it has been damaged. In a recent report, scientists have determined a way to stop this scarring from happening, allowing for a victim’s spine to begin repairing.

The scar tissue created serves as an impenetrable barrier to nerves that are attempting to regenerate. These nerves, if regenerated, may allow for the brain to continue communicating with extremities that were severed during the injuring event. According to the recent report, scientists have isolated long-chain sugars that facilitate the scarring process. If the study is accurate, researchers may be able to use modified sugars to inhibit scar tissue growth so that nerve damage can be repaired.

Source: Medical Xpress, “Discovery may help nerve regeneration in spinal injury,” Nov. 6, 2012