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Stem cell research for spinal cord injuries ongoing

Some North Carolina residents have unfortunately suffered spinal cord injuries as a result of accidents. Research shows that stem cells offer promise as a treatment for these types of injuries. A review of the literature demonstrates that different types of stem cells provide varying levels of help.

The study, published in the Journal of the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons, points to the need for further research in order to determine the optimal stem cell treatment protocol. Every year, an estimated 230,000 people in the U.S. suffer spinal cord injuries. When the spinal cord is injured, people have inflammation, which in turn can result in cellular death.

The reason scientists are interested in stem cells for treating spinal cord injuries is that the cells renew themselves and can differentiate into different types of cells. The idea is that they could replace the spinal cord cells that die and help to restore function. Stem cells that come from bone marrow have been demonstrated to reduce inflammation, but their results in patients have been mixed. Stem cells from the peripheral nervous system have been shown to provide significant improvement in sensory ability but haven't been shown to improve motor function. Embryonic stem cells have demonstrated promise in animal studies but haven't had human studies, and scientists are now research stem cells from skin, which show similarities to embryonic stem cells.

When spinal cord injuriesare suspected in an accident, it is important to call for help immediately and to avoid moving the victim if possible. These injuries may result in lifelong disabilities, and when they are the result of an accident caused by another party's negligence, the assistance of a lawyer may be advisable when seeking compensation.

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Daniel Pleasant Holoman LLP

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