If you or someone you know has suffered a spinal cord injury, then you also know that there is currently no cure for this injury. In more severe or complete spinal cord injuries, this means a lifetime spent in a wheelchair. For incomplete or less severe injuries, this means copious amounts of physical therapy that may or may not lead to partial recovery.
As we explained in a post last month, science is advancing and is now offering promising technology that can help spinal cord victims walk again. Even though this isn't a cure, scientists are hopeful that they could one day unlock the secrets to cellular regrowth and develop treatments that could lead to a cure. Now, with the help of a $1.7 million grant from the National Institutes of Health, scientists may have a chance to get the ball rolling.
According to a recent article on News-Medical.net, the grant will be used by researchers at the School of Engineering and Applied Science at Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri, to "take a closer look at how nerve cells grow and make new connections to reroute signals between the brain and the body." Their focus will be on what "particular cells, or interneurons, are forming these new connections" and how this can be applied to people with spinal cord injuries.
Because this research could take years before a new treatment is found, a spinal cord injury suffered now is one that is suffered for life. If this injury was received during a serious motor vehicle accident or was the result of another accident, you may want to know how much current treatments are because this will greatly affect the size of compensation you ask for in a personal injury lawsuit. Once this research opens the door to newer and more effective treatments, spinal cord injury victims will also need to know the expense, so that their request for compensation is as accurate as possible.