A spinal cord injury (SCI) is one of the most debilitating injuries you can have. Not only can it cause nerve damage, immobility and psychological problems, it can also result in serious amounts of physical pain.
The majority of SCI victims, nearly 90 percent overall, is known to suffer from severe chronic pain. This pain is constant and can last months, years, or indefinitely if not treated. Although this pain may be different for each victim, depending on their specific injury, new research hypothesizes that it all stems from the same place: toxins in the brain. The same research, also proposes that these toxins can be removed, causing much needed pain suppression for SCI victims.
Recent discoveries suggest that SCI victims have higher levels of the neurotoxin acrolein in their brains. Acrolein, produced when nerve cells are damaged, creates biochemical reactions within the brain, enhancing pain receptors and causing the injury to worsen. However, researchers at the University of Indiana School of Medicine, along with accredited professors and scientists from Purdue, have recently discovered that the FDA-approved hypertension drug hydralazine helps reduce the acrolein levels in laboratory rats. They also showed that the reactions to pain stimuli was also significantly reduced with the addition of the drug.
These findings have been published in the 2013 Journal of Neurochemistry and have attracted positive feedback.
The Virginia spinal cord injury lawyers at Shevlin Smith wish to extend our congratulations to Purdue and the U of I School of Medicine, as well as all of those involved with this research. We are eager to see where this breakthrough in pain suppression will lead in the near future. Hopefully, it will help establish new spinal cord injury treatments that SCI pain sufferers so greatly deserve.