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Spinal cord injury damages could intensify with age

A West Virginia resident may have driven for years without a hitch only to find himself or herself involved in a bad accident that leads to debilitating injuries. Spinal cord injuries can be especially devastating, possibly causing a person to lose his or her bowel control, movement or sense of touch. New research suggests that age can actually make the damages resulting from spinal cord injury worse.

According to the study, nervous system immune cells in elderly mice failed to activate one significant signaling pathway. This dramatically lowered chances for healing after a spine-related injury. This was the first research study to show that injuries to the spinal cord are more serious in the elderly than in those who are young.

Nearly 200,000 individuals currently live with spinal cord injuries in America. In addition, about 12,000 to 20,000 brand new injuries are suffered each year. New drugs that are being researched may have the potential to improve the outcomes of those with spinal injuries.

People in West Virginia who are used to living on their own and having relatively normal lives may find it difficult to transition to being dependent on others for their basic needs. Unfortunately, spinal cord injuries can be life-changing. If the injuries were the result of an accident that happened because someone else was negligent, then that individual might be held financially responsible for the injuries. Any financial damages awarded in a liability suit filed against the person can help to address the spinal cord injury victim’s emotional distress and related medical costs.

Source:, "How Aging Can Intensify Damage Of Spinal Cord Injury", , June 25, 2014

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