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Researcher at Rutgers attempting cure for spinal cord injuries

Suffering a spinal cord injury can be a life-changing event. Some of our readers know this firsthand, while others have only heard stories about such tragedies happening to people across the nation. The reason spinal cord injuries are so life changing is because they can often limit a person’s ability to move and speak, leaving them unable to work and in the long-term care of others.

But one neuroscience professor at Rutgers hopes to change that by bringing a potential treatment option to people here in the United States. He has already tested his treatment on several patients with spinal cord injuries in China and has come up with some promising results. His hope now is to get approval to start clinical trials here in the States and improve upon his treatment.

The treatment uses stem cells from umbilical cord blood. The cells are extracted and then injected into the damaged spines of study participants. Coupled with dosages of lithium, the treatment encourages the regeneration of damaged nerve fibers. In the neuroscientist’s most recent study, he discovered that patients responded better to this treatment if they were engaged in physical therapy as well. In many of the cases, patients saw incredible improvement. Some are now even able to walk with little to no assistance.

As many of our readers can imagine, the introduction of a study such as this could create huge life improvements for people living with spinal cord injuries the world over. Even if the study proves fruitful and this becomes a new treatment for spinal cord injuries here in America, people may still be able to collect disability benefits for their injuries. Having this added financial security may be the necessary piece to help make their recovery all that much better.

Source: My Central Jersey, "Neuroscientist, boxer aim to knock out spinal cord injuries," Robin Lally, Oct. 21, 2013

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