Will Spinal Cord Injuries Ever Be Healed?
Spinal cord injuries are devastating. The injury’s physical and emotional impact leaves many wondering whether treatment will restore their mobility and quality of life. With nearly 18,000 new spinal cord injuries in the United States each year, practically every spinal cord injury lawyer knows that there is a pressing need to develop effective and permanent treatments to restore individuals to their pre-accident selves. While current palliative treatments can stabilize patients, there are exciting possibilities on the horizon that may restore both limb and life.
Betting on Hyper Interleukin 6
Interleukin 6, or IL-6, is a pro-inflammatory cytokine. It is also an anti-inflammatory myokine. This genetically engineered cytokine is part of a larger focus on gene therapy to treat spinal cord injuries. In January 2021, researchers from the Ruhr-University at Bochum in Germany published exciting data. Their research showed that injection of IL-6 directly into the cerebellum and other motor-controlling areas of mice’s brains stimulated nerve cell regeneration and restored limb function.
The University of Washington Study Stimulates the Mind (and Body!)
Around the same time that researchers from Germany were publishing their results, researchers at the University of Washington published data from a pilot study that involved six spinal cord injury patients. While smaller and still in the very early stages, these researchers applied non-invasive electrical stimulation along the spinal canal. This was combined with physical rehabilitative therapy.
The study demonstrated that one-third of the six treated patients were able to regain certain fine motor skills even though the injuries were sustained many years ago. However, results began to fade away between 3-6 months after treatment. Thus, while encouraging, it also highlights the challenges. It does appear that the use of electrical stimulation treatments will need to be ongoing to enjoy sustained results or that they will need to be combined with gene therapy, surgery, and other treatments to restore mobility and fine motor skills fully.
As spinal cord injury lawyers in Colorado, we understand the devastating impact these injuries can have on our clients’ lifestyle and mental health. While medical science can’t cure spinal cord injuries just yet, the team at Sloat, Nicholson & Hoover can represent you as you pursue compensation for your claim. Contact our attorneys at (303) 447-1144, and we will tell you more about the steps we take to help you recover compensation for your injuries.
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