September 16, 2012 /24-7PressRelease/
-- The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently approved the first phase of a clinical trial that could potentially revolutionize treatment available for people with spinal cord injuries.
The Miami Project to Cure Paralysis
is a joint venture created by a father and son, both of whom used to play football. The father, a former NFL linebacker, has been striving to find a cure for his son's paralysis since his son was injured in a college game. The two founded The Miami Project which researches and performs clinical trials in an attempt to find a cure for spinal cord injuries
With the FDA approval, researchers will be treating eight patients who have recently suffered spinal cord injuries by injecting Schwann cells into their body at the point of their injuries. These cells, which are taken from the peripheral nervous system, behave like stem cells and have been shown to restore function and sensation in the areas where they are injected. Scientists believe that these cells are the key to curing paralysis.
Studies performed on lab animals brought amazing results; when Schwann cells are injected in the area of nerve cell damage, an animal typically regains 70 percent of its function and movement in the previously paralyzed part of its body.
Common Causes of Spinal Cord Injuries
Statistics show that approximately 11,000 people suffer from spinal cord injuries each year in the United States. More than 50 percent of those receive such injuries become paraplegic -- meaning they have lost the use of the lower half of the body, including both legs -- and 47 percent are quadriplegic, having lost the use of both arms and both legs.
The most common causes of these catastrophic injuries include:
- Motor vehicle accidents
- Violent acts
- Workplace or industrial accidents
Other common causes for spinal cord injuries include shallow diving accidents and sports-related trauma.
Treatment of Spinal Cord Injuries
Surgery is a common treatment for spinal cord injuries. Surgical procedures often include:
- Removal of bone fragments or foreign objects
- Aspiration of fluid or tissue that is pressing on the spinal cord
- Fusion of fragmented or fractured spinal bones
- Installation of braces along the spine for support
The newly approved cell-replacement clinical trial is a drastic departure from traditional treatment and offers hope to many who suffer from spinal cord injuries. It is the first trial of its kind in the world.
Long-Term Effects of Spinal Cord Injuries
Any type of spinal cord injury has life-altering effects on the person injured as well as his or her family. The first year of medical treatment for a paraplegic typically costs in excess of $150,000; for a quadriplegic, the cost is nearly $500,000. Average lifetime expenses can exceed $1 million dollars. Unfortunately, most sufferers are unable to return to work after their injuries and, statistically, only about half have health insurance coverage.
If you suffer from a spinal cord injury due to someone else's negligence or your insurance carrier is failing to pay for the medical treatment you deserve, consult an experienced personal injury lawyer who is knowledgeable about spinal cord injury claims.
Article provided by Law Offices of Lee Arter
Visit us at www.lawyerlee.com---
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