When an accident that results in a spinal injury occurs, the damage may be impossible to undo. While individuals who suffer from the injury learn to live life differently, researchers search for effective treatments. In a previous post we wrote about how stem cells transplants have restored sensation to some paraplegics. That study was conducted by researchers based throughout the world, including in Toronto. In this post we will focus on another treatment approach that is being explored.
Scientists in Switzerland have developed an implant that administers electrical and chemical stimulation when applied directly to the spinal cord. The implant, which is constructed from a silicon substance, is called the e-Dura implant. The silicon is embedded with electrodes and designed to not cause any discomfort. Researchers have had success with the approach in lab rats and over the course of several weeks the rats were able to walk. During these trials the stimulation source was external.
The development of the e-Dura implant is of particular interest because the substance it is made of appears to prevent rejection. Implants placed in this part of the body are at risk of being rejected due to scar tissue that builds up as a result of the inflammation and friction that occurs when the nerve tissues are stretched.
Researchers indicate the key now is to find a way to connect the stimulation on the spinal cord to the person’s brain, making the use of an external stimulation source unnecessary.
When a spinal injury is the result of negligence on the part of another party it is possible that legal action against that party could be viable. A personal injury lawyer can assess the situation and help determine whether such a claim makes sense.
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