Scientists claim they have another breakthrough that may help spinal cord injury victims. Neuroscientists from Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine and Cleveland Clinic released their findings recently, creating another hope for those who have lost bladder control due to a spinal cord injury.
In the latest issue of the Journal of Neuroscience, researchers claim to have restored significant bladder function through nerve regeneration in rats with the most severe spinal cord injuries. The procedure used a traditional nerve bridge graft with a combination of scar degrading and growth factor treatments to grow new nerve cells in the lower spinal cord region.
Jerry Silver, PhD, professor of neurosciences at the School of Medicine, remarked, “While urinary control is complex and recovery took several months, it was clear that the primitive function lost to spinal cord injury does possess the capacity to rewire itself, even when a relatively small number of axons are generated.”
Common Spinal Cord Injury Side Effects
In a spinal cord injury, the messages that the brain sends to the body’s pelvic organs are disconnected causing:
- Loss of limb use
- Ability to walk/support weight
- Loss of bladder control
- Loss of bowel movement control
- Sexual dysfunction
Re-establishing functional regeneration of those nerve cells is the first obstacle in regaining any control. Patients who suffer with any type of spinal cord injury state that bladder control is one of the most difficult handicaps to deal with. Researchers believe their model to be highly relevant to people with a complete spinal cord injury (causing paralysis), meaning that less severe injuries like CES (cauda equina syndrome) could have even better results. Some with CES suffer only loss of bladder control, and not paralysis. This new technique could restore all functionality they have lost. The researchers plan to test their technique on larger animals before moving on to clinical trials in the US.
Contact a Virginia Spinal Cord Injury Lawyer Today
Despite numerous breakthroughs and the hope that each one brings, living with a spinal cord injury is life altering. If you or a loved one has suffered a SCI at the fault of another, contact the Virginia spinal cord injury lawyers at Shevlin Smith. Our Fairfax attorneys are experienced and knowledgeable. Call (703) 721-4233 today!