Portland, OR (PRWEB) June 14, 2012
Released June 1, the scientists at the Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne published findings in Science about how electrical and chemical stimulation in rats allowed the spinal cord to repair itself – and although this technology has not yet been tested in humans, Portland car accident attorney Sean DuBois is excited to see medical developments like this improve the treatment and lifestyle of car accident victims with spinal cord injuries.
“Spinal cord damage is very common after car accidents,” said DuBois, a Portland personal injury lawyer. “And these injuries are often permanent, life-altering, and expensive for the victims – so we are happy to see progress being made by medical professionals to help them.”
According to a Washington Post article, this study is significant for several reasons:
1. It does not involve stem cell research, an area of science that has proven controversial for many;
2. It is the first breakthrough in restoring full function to the spinal cord after serious injury (the rats’ spinal cords were completely severed);
3. The chemical and electrical stimulation of the spine encourages the spinal cord to repair itself, through a process known as neuroplasticity.
“Our rats have become athletes when just weeks before they were completely paralyzed. I am talking about 100% recuperation of voluntary movement,” Gregoire Courtine, the EPFL team leader, said in a Mediacom article.
According to the National Spinal Cord Injury Statistical Center, there are approximately 12,000 new cases of spinal cord injury (SCI) each year in the United States, and there are currently over 300,000 people in the US who have a SCI. Since 2005, 40.5% of those cases of SCI have been caused by motor vehicle crashes, which is why Portland injury attorneys like DuBois are concerned.
“Yes, personal injury attorneys help people who are injured. But one of the greatest rewards of my job is helping injury victims get the medical care they need to fully recover. In the past, it was often hard for those with spinal cord injuries to heal and regain complete control of those motor functions. Now, we have hope that 100% recovery is possible,” said DuBois.
Despite the optimism of the EPFL team and the attorneys at Shulman DuBois LLC, there are still major hurdles to overcome, according to experts. Most car accident injuries do not involve a cut spinal cord, but rather bruising and compression, which were not addressed by the study; and the study’s rats were not attempting to recuperate after long-term injuries wherein scar tissue and dead nerve cells might be an issue. According to interviews with Courtine, human trials will begin in a year or two in Zurich.
About Shulman DuBois LLC:
The Portland personal injury law firm of Shulman DuBois LLC, is based in SE Portland, OR. Partners Joshua Shulman and Sean DuBois specialize in auto accidents, including injuries from trucks, cars, and motorcycles as well as bicycle accidents, pedestrian accidents, and wrongful death cases. For a free consultation, call 503-222-4411 or contact us at http://www.portlandpersonalinjuryaccidentlawyer.com.