In a split second life as we know it can change dramatically. Individuals living with spinal injuries know this all too well. When someone suffers an injury of this nature they must contend not only with the physical aspects -- which may include paralysis -- but emotional difficulties of coming to terms with drastic change.
The future holds hope for stem cell repair of severed spinal cords.
4,000 Canadians suffer a spinal injury annually
According to one statistic, 4,000 Canadians suffer a spinal injury of some sort annually. In total, more than 85,000 Canadians have faced this reality. While the severity of a spinal injury will vary depending on a variety of factors, partial or total paralysis could occur. The costs associated with a lifetime of spinal cord treatments can be expensive, potentially costing between $1.5 million and $3 million.
Researchers and doctors looking for new ways to treat SCI
Because of the impact a spinal injury can have on the person who suffered it, researchers and doctors are always looking for new ways to treat people with spinal cord injuries. One of the most promising approaches as of late is stem-cells. Recently, the first stem cell treatment transplant in North America, took place in Canada. This is not the first time patients have undergone this treatment. In Europe, three other individuals have received a transplant. The man who received the treatment in Canada is a 29-year-old paraplegic. It is expected that other transplants will occur in Canada.
The hope is that the cells will ultimately repair spinal cords that are severed.
While the man and those behind the study are likely eagerly awaiting results, it could take some time. So far, some study participants in Europe have experienced gains characterized as very small. It is also worth noting that no adverse events or significant complications have occurred. The hope is that the cells will ultimately repair spinal cords that are severed.
When a spinal injury is the result of the negligence of another party, legal action may be a possibility. While this course of action cannot undo the damage, a successful case may make it easier for those impacted to move forward with their new lives.
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