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Spinal Cord Injury Research Making Breakthroughs

Miami personal injury attorneys and spinal cord injury lawyers are aware that new research in spinal cord injuries is making some headway at helping more people achieve more recovery from these devastating injuries. Spinal cord injuries frequently take away basic abilities from people who are in the prime of life.

Most of the time, spinal cord injuries do not completely sever the spinal cord. Instead, they cause fractures or compressions of the vertebrae, crushing the extensions of nerve cells that send signals up and down the spinal cord. The location of the injuries on the spinal cord and the severity of the injuries affect the extent of paralysis.

The Kentucky Spinal Cord Injury Research Center, a leader in spinal cord injury research, has three parts to its mission:  

Animal research, rehabilitation and treatment research, and clinical treatment research.

Susan Harkema, the director of the center's rehabilitation research, says that locomotor training "develops the intrinsic capacity of the spinal cord to be smart. A neuron can change its function, its behavior...when it's exposed to activity."

According to Harkema, 89 percent of 300 patients that were monitored by researchers showed improved function using this type of therapy. It helps if the patient starts the treatment soon after the injury, but the research also shows that it is never too late to do some good using the locomotor therapy.

Some people make huge gains quickly, some have smaller improvements. Either way, however, the therapy has proven beneficial for people with spinal cord injuries.

Source: Louisville Courier-Journal "University of Louisville, Kentucky centers develop treatments, create hope for spinal cord injuries" May 2, 2010

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