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Brain & Nervous System Health Center

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Living With a Spinal Cord Injury - The Search for a Cure

In the past, the results of a spinal cord injury were considered permanent, but new research is changing this outlook. There may be a cure for paralysis some day.

Major research areas for SCIs include ways to stimulate activity in damaged nerve cells (neurorestorative), stimulate growth in damaged nerve cells (neuroregenerative), transplant new nerve tissue into the spinal cord (neuroconstructive), and insert genes into the spinal cord (neurogenetic). Research is also looking at ways to improve what people with SCIs can do physically (functional research).

Recommended Related to Brain & Nervous System

Stem Cells for ALS: Inside a Clinical Trial

John Jerome's spinal cord shines white beneath the surgeons' headlamps, crisscrossed by a web of bright-red blood vessels. He's been on the operating table for more than four hours. Above the fist-sized opening in his neck hangs a complex steel contraption. It's fixed in place by four posts: two wedged into Jerome's skull and two more in the vertebrae below the surgical wound. Invented by Emory neurosurgeon Nick Boulis, MD, it serves a single purpose: To hold steady the thin needle plunged into...

Read the Stem Cells for ALS: Inside a Clinical Trial article > >

Spinal cord injuries are extremely complex. And research must move from theory to practical and from animal studies to human studies. When a treatment is being studied in humans, it must be proved beneficial and safe. And it can take years before a new treatment reaches the public.

    WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

    Last Updated: March 17, 2014
    This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
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