UVA Health researching better treatments for spinal cord injuries

New research from UVA Health may hold the key to improving recovery.
Published: May. 23, 2023 at 2:46 PM EDT
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CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) - Spinal injuries can have lifelong effects including paralysis depending on the severity of the injury, but new research from UVA Health may hold the key to improving recovery.

Researchers used mice to examine recovery times from injury, as well as the differences in recovery between younger and older mice.

“The timing of the immune response is different in aging compared to young, and the quality of the response is different, so there’s more inflammation and other types of factors that might be contributing to why aged individuals, for example, have less recovery,” Doctor Andrea Salvador said.

There are multiple areas and particular molecules that can be targeted to manage pain.

“What we want to do is to prevent the neurons that are alive from dying further. So, by targeting these molecules, we can preserve the good neurons that are spread after the injury and make sure that individuals will not have to suffer more devastating consequences,” Salvador said.

The lab is receiving tissue samples from patients with spinal cord injuries in the hopes that the findings observed in mice are mimicked in human patients.

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