Spinal cord injuries are among the most devastating you can suffer in an accident. Damage to your spine can cause lifelong effects.
The University of California San Francisco conducted a recent study showing advancements in spinal cord treatment. Through testing on mice, the study offers evidence that those living with spinal cord injuries may have hope for the future.
According to the study, chronic pain and loss of bladder control are issues for many people with spinal cord injuries. These problems are also among the most frustrating for patients. Through testing on mice, the researchers set out to help alleviate pain and improve bladder control.
Researchers transplanted immature human neurons into mice with spinal cord injuries. In this first of its kind study, they found that the healthy cells integrated with the damaged spinal cord. The results showed that healthy cells could be transplanted into the spinal cord, and the mice showed improved bladder function and reduced pain.
Arnold Krigstein, one of the authors of the study, said the treatment was a breakthrough for spinal cord research. “This is an important proof of principle for using cell therapy to repair damaged neural tissue. It brings us one step closer to using such transplants to bring much needed relief to people with spinal cord injuries.”
More than a quarter of a million people live with spinal cord injuries in the United States, and that number grows each year. Spinal cord injuries can be devastating, but studies like this offer hope for those who are injured.
With the success of the study on mice, researchers hope they will soon be able to do cell therapy trials in humans.