Following a spinal injury, the treatment the injured individual receives could have a bearing on the extent to which they recover. Because a spinal injury can have such a devastating impact on the body of the person who suffers it—potentially leaving them unable to move their limbs as a paraplegic or quadriplegic—the actions taken following it are especially important. According to a recent study, the medications one takes could have an effect on how someone heals.
The study, which was conducted by a team from multiple universities in the United Kingdom, specifically looked at common medications that someone who is recovering from a spinal injury might be taking for another condition. These drugs are called anticholinergics.
In the course of the study, 52 patients, who had suffered either a spinal or brain injury, were involved. The levels of these drugs in the patients’ bodies were measured. Those who had a higher level of the drugs in their system were said to have an anticholinergic drug burden. Of the individuals who took part, the average stay of those whose ACB scores were higher, was longer. Likewise, the hospital stays were on average found to be shorter for those with lower ACB scores.
Individuals could be on anticholinergic medications for a variety of reasons including bladder problems, insomnia and depression.
Since this was just an observational study, further research is needed to determine if there is in fact a cause-and-effect relationship between ACB scores and the length of hospital stay. Because it is fair to say that most individuals who have experienced a spinal cord injury want to do what is necessary to expedite their recovery, further research into the matter would likely be welcomed.
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