New York City injury lawyer discusses the challenges & expenses faced by victims of spinal cord injuries. Sept. 13 U-T San Diego report states that researches have discovered a way to grow nerve fibers in rats with severe spinal cord injuries.
January 2, 2013 (Newswire) - Scientists at UC San Diego have found a way to use stem cells to rewire the central nervous system in rats, which they hope will help the animals to regain movement. According to a Sept. 13 U-T San Diego news report, this technique causes connections from neurons to spread beyond the site of the injury thereby restoring the ability of the brain and spine to communicate.
Researchers say this is a potentially big step toward treating some of the 300,000 or so Americans who are partially or fully paralyzed. Since they made the breakthrough, scientists are conducting experiments to determine if this treatment, which worked well in lab rats, can be applied to human beings, the report states. Neuroscientists say that this degree of regeneration in rats is unprecedented, according to U-T San Diego. This growth apparently enabled the rats to even regain some power in the joints allowing them to move around to a limited degree.
According to the University of Alabama's National Spinal Cord Injury Statistical Center, there are anywhere between 236,000 to 327,000 people in the United States in 2012 who are living with catastrophic spinal cord injuries. Since 2005, motor vehicle crashes account for 39.2 percent of reported spinal cord injury cases. The next most common cause, according to the center's reports, is falls followed by acts of violence, primarily gunshot wounds. The average annual health care and living expenses for a spinal cord injury victim is about $69,204 a year, the center estimates. But these expenses could add up to millions of dollars over a person's lifetime.
People who live with spinal cord injuries often suffer serious secondary complications such as heart problems, respiratory issues, infections and pressure sores, says New York City injury lawyer Kenneth A. Wilhelm. "When your spinal cord is damaged, your quality of life is forever altered. These types of injuries not only affect the victims, but also their family members who must care for them and deal with the emotional and financial burdens that comes with caring for a disabled family member."
Spinal cord injury victims may also need 24/7 nursing care and costly medical equipment, Wilhelm said. "If your spinal cord injury has been caused by someone else's negligence or wrongdoing, it is critical that you obtain quality legal representation to ensure that you receive monetary compensation and to make sure that the negligent parties are held accountable."
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