Researchers: Can We Reverse the Effects of Spinal Cord Injury in KY?

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A spinal cord injury is one of the most traumatic injuries a person can ever experience. In seconds, a person’s life can be turned upside down—or even taken away—due to a severed cord causing brain injury in KY.

The spinal cord’s cells, unlike other cells in the body, do not have a way to regenerate. For years, researchers have been trying to develop a way for the spinal cord to repair itself—and they may have broken new ground with the use of macrophages.

Macrophages are immune cells that immediately rush to the site of injury, removing dead cells and protecting live tissues so that the wound can heal properly. Unfortunately, these cells are absent in both the brain and spinal cord, making any injuries to these sites potentially permanent.

Although macrophages do not naturally exist in the central nervous system, there are ways to implant them into a spinal cord injury site. A research team led by Michal Schwartz of Israel’s Weizmann Institute of Science grew these immune cells in a laboratory and implanted them into rats, and the transplants of the cells caused the axons to regenerate.

Other scientists have produced similar, encouraging results using macrophages on damaged spinal cords in rats. Wolfgang Streit, a neuroscientist at the University of Florida Brain Institute, reported that he and his team “took activated macrophages, put them in the injured spinal cord, and found enhanced regeneration.” 

However, scientists warn that regeneration of the cells is merely the first step. While macrophage transplants may help cells regenerate, there must be further research to discover if the therapy can actually restore function to paralyzed limbs. 

If someone you love has suffered a permanent brain injury at Norton’s hospital in Louisville, the trusted attorneys at Gray and White can help. Call us today at (800) 634-8767 to begin your FREE consultation.