Posted: March 24, 2015
As seasoned litigators of personal injury actions in New Jersey, the law firm of Eisbrouch Marsh is excited to learn about scientific advancements in the treatment of spinal cord injuries. Individuals who have suffered spinal cord trauma often face an uphill battle to reclaim some sense of normalcy in their lives. Impaired by respiratory ailments, bowel dysfunction, motor deficits, or even paralysis – victims must resort to assistive devices and/or invasive surgery coupled with a long road of rehabilitation therapy.
The problem with treating spinal cord injuries is that damaged nerve cells in this part of the body are not likely to regenerate, since they are hampered by molecular processes in the nerves. Scientists know that newly formed scar tissue also impedes regrowth of these wire-like nerve cells known as axons.
Now, a team of researchers from the German Center for Neurodegenerative Diseases reports on a promising drug that has stimulated nerve cell regeneration in animal subjects. According to their findings, the cancer medication epothilone helped damaged nerve cells regenerate and reduced scar tissue – both of which promoted neuronal regrowth and improved the animals’ motor skills.
Cancer drug helps nerve cell regrowth in animal studies
“The ideal treatment for promoting axon regeneration after spinal cord injury would inhibit the formation of scar tissue,” said researcher Professor Frank Bradke, who is based in Bonn. “However, it is also important that the growth-inhibiting factors are neutralized while reactivating the poor axons’ regenerative potential.”
Bradke collaborated with other international researchers in examining how epothilone affects mircotubules – the long, thin filaments within the nerve cell that help control movement and growth. Experiments on animals showed that the cancer drug hampers the formation of microtubules in cells that would grow into scar tissue, in essence minimizing the impact of scarring. Concurrently, epothilone causes microtubules to grow into the damaged axons, thus promoting nerve cell regrowth.
The results showed that animals treated with the drug for spinal cord injury had better mobility, balance and coordination versus those that were not given epothilone. In their next steps toward the development of a viable treatment, Bradke and his colleagues plan observe how epothilone affects different types of spinal cord lesions.
Causes and consequences of spinal cord injuries
Approximately 44 percent of all spinal cord injuries are caused by motor vehicle accidents; the rest are usually a result of sport-related injuries, slips and falls, acts of violence, or infection. Depending on the exact location of the trauma, the injury may render a person permanently disabled or paralyzed. Paralysis can include all four limbs (tetraplegia) or only the legs (paraplegia).
Understandably, victims may also suffer from emotional trauma as they come to grips with a life that has been forever changed. In the event that negligence was involved in the accident– whether a reckless driver or an incompetent property owner, victims may have the right to pursue compensation for their medical bills, lost wages, physical rehabilitation and other losses.
At Eisbrouch Marsh, we believe that victims should never bear the financial burdens of accidents resulting from negligence. Our team has successfully litigated spinal cord injury claims arising from construction site and workplace accidents, slip and falls and car crashes.
NJ personal injury attorneys
The focus of our practice is to make a significant financial difference in the lives of our clients, and to help them on the road to recovery. Not only do we have substantial resources to help prove liability, we enlist leading medical experts when building your case.
Over the past 25 years, our lawyers have deftly maximized recoveries for clients who have been permanently disabled, and we vow to do the same for you should litigation be warranted. To learn more about your options for legal recourse, or to schedule a free case review with a New Jersey spinal cord injury attorney, please contact us at 201-561-8366.
- Science Daily.com, Injured spinal cord: Regeneration possible with epothilone? http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/03/150312173806.htm
- MedLine Plus, Spinal Cord Injuries http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/spinalcordinjuries.html