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Study Finds Post-Spinal Injury Scarring Could Benefit Patients

Monday, November 04, 2013

According to the results of a study that was published recently in the scientific journal Science, the formation of scar tissue after a spinal cord injury at the site of the injury, could actually prevent the expansion of the injury, and help boost recovery of the patient. That flies in the face of established scientific literature that has held that scar formation at the site of the injury impedes recovery efforts. The new study finds that this is not necessarily so.

The study was conducted by scientists at the Karolinska Institutet in Sweden, and according to their studies, scar tissue that is formed at a spinal injury site by stem cells after an injury does not impair recovery, and could actually help limit the amount of damage that is caused after the injury. For many years now, studies have indicated to Thousand Oaks spinal injury lawyers that recovery after a spinal injury is impeded due to the formation of scar tissue. According to earlier studies, the scar tissue that is formed at the site of the injury blocks the regeneration of new nerve cells, and therefore, functional impairment after an injury tends to be permanent.

However, in the new research, the scientists focused on spinal cord stem cells, which are mainly responsible for the formation of scar tissue around the spinal cord injury. They found that when the scar formation was blocked by preventing the stem cells from generating new cells, the injury ultimately began to expand, and resulted in damage to more numbers of nerve fibers. However, when the mice had continued stem cell function after the injury, scar formation continued normally. Spinal cord stem cells were actually greater in number in these mice.


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