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Scientists regrow nerve cells, repairs some damage to spinal cord

Spinal cord injuries are devastating for both the victim of these injuries and their family. Because they can often lead to severe disabilities, these injuries are some of the most researched and have been given great attention in recent years. However, a cure for spinal cord injuries is still nonexistent.

Although no cure exists, scientists recently made progress in regrowing nerve cells, which led to restored bladder function in rats. The researchers implanted nerve cells from another part of the body, hoping to bridge the gap in the animal's spinal cords. The animals were then injected with chemicals, which facilitated growth and broke down scar tissue that blocked cell regeneration.

Although this study was successful in rats, it will likely be years before approval for human trials will be granted. Testing in bigger animals and repeated successful transplants will be some of the next steps.

While more research is conducted, people with spinal cord injuries might want to pursue rigorous physical therapy and other techniques to help recover as much as possible. Medical and therapy costs can be extremely expensive, but they can often produce some benefits. Speaking with an experienced attorney might be able to help a person understand their rights after a spinal cord injury.

They might also be able to help a person seek compensation to help pay for expenses related to their injuries. When someone elses negligence causes a severe injury, the victim shouldn't be forced to suffer financially in order to get the help that they need and deserve.

Source: BBC News, "Nerve cells 're-grown' in rats after spinal injury," Helen Briggs, June 25, 2013

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