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Spinal cord injury can affect motor function

People in West Virginia often don't realize how complicated it really is to flip a coin or catch a ball. The spine and the brain work well together to help a person to achieve these types of tasks. When a spinal cord injury takes place, this can have a dramatic impact on a person's ability to do even the most basic tasks -- tasks that often are taken for granted on a daily basis.

Scientists recently have pinpointed two different neuron types that allow one's spinal cord to dictate the movement of the front limbs. The first group of neurons include those that are required to make movements that are precise and accurate. The second group features neurons that are paramount for smoothly moving the limbs.

This new information plays an important role in understanding how humans normally move. It therefore can help with treating injuries that affect motor function. People often don't realize that networks of neurons link the muscle and spinal cord to the brain, which causes them to be able to pick up something and use their fingers to do tasks.

Further research is required to truly understand how dysfunction associated with the brain and spinal cord contributes to problems seen after a neurodegenerative disease or spinal injury. One thing is for certain: A spinal cord injury can change a person's life in a major way in West Virginia, and when another person was responsible for the injury due to negligent behavior, the injured person naturally may feel overwhelmed. In this situation, he or she might elect to file a civil suit against the person who allegedly caused the injury. A personally favorable outcome may result in financial restitution that can help the injured victim to address pain and suffering and afford ongoing medical bills.

Source: medicalxpress.com, "Studies identify spinal cord neurons that control skilled limb movement", , May 1, 2014

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