Spinal injury dating
Around 50,000 people in the UK have a serious injury to the spinal column, while figures estimate there are around 250,000 in the US, figures show.
Researchers say they have uncovered a 'vital mechanism' in the damaged spines of zebrafish - tropical fish of the minnow family -that helps nerve connections to regrow.By feeding silkworms carbon nanotubes and graphene, researchers enabled the insects to spin ‘super silk’ – far tougher, more durable and conductive than normal threads – opening up new possibilities for fabrics, medical implants and more.Silk is produced by the caterpillars of the silk moth, as they feed on the leaves of mulberry trees.The finding could pave the way for doctors to restore vital connections between the brain and muscles of the body lost after spinal cord injury in humans.High profile victims of such tragic accidents include the late Superman actor Christopher Reeve (left), who became a quadriplegic after being thrown from a horse during an equestrian competition in Virginia in 1995.Understanding these signals could hold clues for therapies to help heal the spinal cord after injury.
High profile victims of such tragic accidents include the late Superman actor Christopher Reeve, who became a quadriplegic after being thrown from a horse during an equestrian competition in Virginia in 1995.
Zebrafish have the remarkable ability to regain full movement within four weeks of injury to their spinal cord.
For people and other mammals, damage to the spinal cord is permanent and results in irreversible paralysis.
In an efforts to understand the ailments and how to prevent them, we asked Dr.
Michael Camp DPT, CSCS, PES, owner of My Competitive Life, for his rundown of back injuries and expert advice on how to treat and prevent them.
'We have now pinpointed the signals that remove this roadblock in zebrafish, so that nerve cells can repair connections that are lost after damage to the spinal cord.'The Edinburgh team will now try to establish whether triggering similar signals in other animals can help them to repair nerve connections damaged by spinal cord injuries.