Spinal cord injuries are one of the worst things that can happen to a person as a result of a car accident. The spinal cord is the group of nerves that connects the brain to all the other parts of the body; therefore, it plays a role in feeling, movement, and the function of many other parts of the body. If you have ever walked, written with pen and paper, or used the toilet, you can thank your spinal cord. Between the physical suffering and the prohibitive costs of medical treatment, a spinal cord injury can completely upend your life. A Houma car accident lawyer can help you recover damages if your spinal cord injury is the result of a traffic collision caused by someone else’s negligence.
Why Spinal Cord Injuries Are So Devastating
The spinal cord extends from the neck to the lower back. A spinal cord injury does not just affect the site of the injury; it also affects the entire body below that point. That means that an injury to the lowest part of the spinal cord also affects the legs and feet. Less severe spinal cord injuries cause chronic pain, weakness, and muscle spasticity; these symptoms can be debilitating, and they are only “mild” in comparison to the more severe forms of spinal cord injury. The more severe spinal cord injuries cause all of the above symptoms, plus paralysis, loss of sensation below the site of the injury, and loss of bladder and bowel function. Thanks to advances in medical science, a spinal cord injury does not reduce your life expectancy, but you will need supportive care for life.
Dancing Molecule Therapy is Still a Long Way From Being Available to Patients
Scientists from Northwestern University published a study in a recent issue of the journal Science. Their experiment involved peptide amphiphile supramolecular polymers as a possible treatment for spinal cord injuries. The researchers injected these so-called “dancing molecules” into mice whose hind legs were paralyzed because of spinal cord injuries; the mice that received these injections regained the use of their hind legs and the ability to walk. When the researchers observed the animals’ spinal cord tissues under the microscope, they found that the dancing molecules stimulated the growth of axons in spinal cord cells near the site of the injury. The treatment also prevented the loss of motor neurons near the site of the injury and promoted the formation of myelin, an extracellular substance that protects axons.
As promising as the results of this study are, animal studies are not, by themselves, sufficient to make a treatment available to humans. If more animal studies are able to replicate the results, then clinical trials on human patients can begin.
Contact the Law Office of Patrick H. Yancey About Car Accidents Involving Spinal Cord Injuries
A car accident lawyer can help you if you suffered a spinal cord injury as a result of a car accident. Contact the Law Office of Patrick H. Yancey in Houma, Louisiana to see if you have grounds for a lawsuit.