When a Pennsylvania resident experiences a spinal cord injury, life as he or she know it can be significantly altered. Spinal cord damage, whether sustained during a car accident or other incident, affects a wide range of bodily functions, and can render an individual incapable of providing for their own personal care. However, a recently announced breakthrough may give spinal cord patients the ability to regain function in their hands.
The research comes from the work of two doctors who have determined the location of a group of neurons within the spinal cord that interact with neurons in the hands to send the signals necessary for hand movement and function. When a spinal cord injury disrupts this circuit, hand function is impaired or lost. The research conducted by these doctors identifies how these signals are regulated, which was previously unknown.
In particular, the ability to grasp objects and control the release of that grasp is often harmed when a spinal cord injury takes place. These types of functions are ranked high among responses given by quadriplegics who were asked what type of function they would most like to recover, if possible. By understanding how these signals are relayed to the appropriate parts of the body, treatment options can be devised to repair the damage done by a spinal cord injury, or to develop technology to replace such function.
For car accident victims who sustained a spinal cord injury due to the negligent acts of another party, pursing adequate compensation is essential. As medical and technological advancements continue, there is the possibility for improvements in one’s quality of life. These types of treatment are not inexpensive, however, making it imperative that victims obtain an award of damages that can cover the cost of improved medical techniques, in Pennsylvania or elsewhere.
Source: Medical Express, “Getting a grip on hand function: Researchers discover spinal cord circuit that controls our ability to grasp,” April 10, 2013