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Spinal cord injury patients may benefit from new research

Traffic accidents and work accidents are the cause of many spinal cord injuries. Unfortunately, a spinal cord injury can be catastrophic for an individual in West Virginia, as it often leads to partial or complete paralysis of a person's legs and arms. In addition, many patients struggle with spasms or involuntary contractions of their muscles, which can impair their quality of life.

Serotonin is a neurotransmitter that plays a significant role in a person's ability to voluntarily control his or her movements. When a person is injured, some spinal cord cells begin to supply serotonin in a manner that is uncontrolled. This causes the body's motor system to become out of control, according to research.

Scientists have discovered that a particular enzyme that produces serotonin plays an important role in the serotonin levels going out of control. If researchers target this specific enzyme, they might have the ability to create new treatment methods for imparting functions in an injured person's nervous system long-term. Existing treatment methods include using a drug called baclofen, which unfortunately negatively affects motor learning and therefore impacts a patient's rehabilitation.

People suffering from spinal cord injury may be excited to learn about the new treatments that may improve how they live. If these individuals were injured because a driver on the road was careless or because someone failed to maintain their property, they have the right to file personal injury lawsuits. Financial restitution awarded in a successful case can help the victims to cover medical treatments and address pain and suffering associated with the incident in West Virginia. 

Source:, "Research to help patients suffering from severe spinal cord injuries", , Sept. 5, 2014

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