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Those with incomplete spinal cord injury may regain functions

A spinal cord injury frequently results in chronic physical impairments that can snatch away a person's ability to take care of himself or herself independently in West Virginia. Spinal cord injury thus may seem to change a person's life for the worse. However, researchers are working on a treatment that will change injury victims' lives for the better.

Researchers recently said that people with an incomplete injury to the spinal cord may still partially regain basic motor functions in certain cases. This is because remaining tissue in the spinal cord that has not been injured offers a substrate used to create new circuits, which can bridge the injury. Scientists now understand what triggers and promotes the creation of these new connections.

A certain sensory feedback channel that is linked to sensors in the muscles -- known as muscle spindles -- is what promotes the recovery of spinal cord neuronal circuits that have been damaged. The muscle spindles must be activated in order for recovery to take place. Researchers said therapeutic approaches therefore would be most effective if they tried to extensively use a victim's muscles following spinal cord injury, as this can help to stimulate the muscle spindle circuits.

This research may provide a glimmer of hope for spinal cord injury victims who hope to regain their motor function. However, until treatments are perfected, victims must deal with their disabilities. If a spinal cord injury happened because of another party's negligence, an victim may opt to sue the other party, pursuing financial damages that can help him or her to pay for medical treatments related to the injury in West Virginia. To prevail, it will be necessary to first prove that the defendant was negligent in a manned that caused or materially contributed to the accident and injuries that resulted.

Source: medicalxpress.com, "Trigger mechanism for recovery after spinal cord injury revealed", Dec. 18, 2014

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