March 13, 2013 /24-7PressRelease/
-- Spinal cord injuries are a significant problem in the U.S. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, approximately 200,000 in the U.S. are currently living with a spinal cord injury. Each year, anywhere from 12,000 to 20,000 new patients are reported. Experts estimate that the lifetime medical costs associated with a spinal cord injury can run anywhere from $500,000 to $3 million, depending on the severity of the injury.
Spinal cord injuries are serious because they can lead to permanent neurological impairments in any body system controlled by the affected nerves. This includes not only musculoskeletal systems, but respiratory, urinary and gastrointestinal systems, as well. Fortunately, a new drug is showing promise in possibly restoring the function of these systems.
Researchers at Ohio State University studied the effect of an experimental drug, known as LM11A-31, on mice that suffered severe spinal cord injuries. The drug works by blocking the release of a particular protein that after spinal cord injuries damages oligodendrocytes - nerve cells that surround and protect axons, the structures that transmit impulses from the brain to the rest of the body. What makes LM11A-31 particularly interesting is its ability to cross the blood-brain barrier, a naturally occurring partition that protects the brain from potentially harmful blood-borne substances.
In the Ohio State study, researchers began treating mice four hours after their injuries. Treatment lasted a total of 42 days. The mice that received the largest dosages of the drug were eventually able to walk and move their limbs in a coordinated fashion. Further studies are planned to determine whether the drug remains effective if not administered until days or weeks after the injury. Methylprednisolone, the main therapy currently available for reducing the chance of paralysis after a spinal cord injury, must be administered within 24 hours of the initial injury.
Although further study is needed, researchers are hopeful that LM11A-31 will prove an important breakthrough in the treatment of spinal cord injuries.
A personal injury attorney can help
If you or someone you love has suffered a spinal cord injury, traumatic brain injury or other catastrophic injury due to the negligence of another person, contact an experienced personal injury attorney. A knowledgeable personal injury lawyer can assess your case and help you get the fair and adequate compensation you deserve for medical bills, lost wages and pain and suffering. For more information about what a personal injury attorney can do for you, contact a lawyer today.
Article provided by Neufeld, Kleinberg & Pinkert, PA
Visit us at www.neufeldlawfirm.com/---
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