Spinal cord injuries can now be treated, thanks to the following discovery. Rutgers scientists have laid hands on an innovative treatment to minimize nerve damage and promote tissue healing while minimizing pain in spinal cord injuries. This minimally-invasive treatment may selectively target the injured tissue and thereby promote healing and reduce pain.
After a spinal cord injury, production of the protein (RhoA) seemingly elevates. This protein is believed to block regeneration of nerve cells that carry signals along the spinal cord and also restrict the injured tissue from healing. In order to decrease the production of this protein, scientists developed a chemically synthesized siRNA molecule. This molecule not only lowers the production of the RhoA protein when administered to the spine, but also purportedly allows regeneration of the nerve cells.
The neuropathic pain, also termed as phantom pain probably occurs due to a spinal cord injury that is related to an increased production of RhoA. At the time of the research, experts injected the chemically synthesized molecular substance into the spinal cords of laboratory rats with spinal cord injury. The substance was injected via a spinal tap. An overall improvement in tissue healing and recovery was later registered. Martin Grumet, associate director of the Keck Center and senior researcher and colleagues conclude that the novel chemically synthesized siRNA molecule is immensely beneficial for patients with spinal cord injuries.
The research is published in the Journal of Neurotrauma.