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Study shows nerve regeneration possible in spinal cord patients

According to a new study published in a peer-reviewed medical journal, it may be possible to regenerate nerve function in patients with spinal cord injuries. The research could eventually impact spinal cord treatments in Florida and nationwide. Researchers from Minnesota's Mayo Clinic used mice models of spinal cord injuries to demonstrate full transections of animals with spinal injuries. They implanted biomaterial scaffolds into the models to promote nerve regeneration and achieved positive results. However, the regeneration was not enough for full recovery.

The researchers attempted to increase regeneration at weeks one, two, three, four and eight of the process but were not successful. After each new thoracic spinal cord transaction, no changes were noted in the variables of cyst formation, collagen scarring, astrocyte reactivity or myelin debris. However, the mice models did show increased amounts of activated macrophages and microglia and significantly reduced barriers to regeneration when compared to mice who had only transaction injuries.

Though tissue reaction was initially beneficial, investigators noted side effects, including chronic fibrotic host response in scaffolds surrounded by collagen in the eighth week of the process. According to the authors of the study, the results indicate that biomaterial scaffolds encourage regeneration of spinal nerves. They stated that further study of the host fibrotic response could lead to increased functional recovery.

Spinal cord injuries can cause long-term medical issues or permanent disability. Florida residents who have suffered such an injury due to the negligent actions of another party may wish to consult with an attorney. It may be advisable to file a personal injury lawsuit against the at-fault party seeking compensation for current and future medical expenses, loss of income, pain and suffering and other applicable damages.

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