Possible recovery for Ohio spinal cord injury victims
According to the Ohio Department of Public Safety, there were 310,801 motor vehicle accidents in Ohio in 2022. Accidents involving motor vehicles are a leading cause of traumatic spinal cord injuries. These injuries can cause short-term or permanent paralysis.
In 2022, Northwestern University scientists successfully repaired spinal tissue and reversed paralysis in mice. Tiny fiber structures called nanofibers were injected into the paralyzed mice.
After injection, the nanofibers stimulated cellular receptors within the spine. This activity triggered the cells to repair damaged neurons. The paralyzed mice regained their ability to walk four weeks after beginning treatment.
The UC Davis Spine Center is also doing research into reversing paralysis. It offers some hope for people with spinal injuries received during car crashes
and other causes.
Sixteen people with spinal cord injuries were chosen for a clinical trial. Each person has damage to the thoracic section of their spinal column. The treatment placed an investigational neuro-spinal scaffold into the spinal cord.
Within six months of treatment, some patients regained partial feeling in the paralyzed parts of their bodies. After 24 months, some of those patients showed even more improvement.
A neuro-spinal scaffold (NSS) is a medical device for treating spinal cord injuries, such as those received during motor vehicle accidents. It’s the size of a standard pencil eraser and can fit into an incision on the patient’s back. The implant goes into the spinal cord at the location of the injury and gives cells a location to grow and regenerate damaged tissue.
The NSS was first tested on animals. After it was confirmed safe and effective in animal studies, researchers started clinical trials with humans. The NSS is still under development, and much more research is required. But initial clinical trial results are promising.