CHICAGO --- After a spinal cord injury, a significant amount of secondary nerve damage is caused by inflammation and internal scarring that inhibits the ability of the nervous system to repair itself.
A biodegradable nanoparticle injected after a spinal cord trauma prevented the inflammation and internal scarring that inhibits the repair process, reports a new Northwestern Medicine study.
As a result, mice with a spinal cord injury receiving the nanoparticle injection were able to walk better after the injury than those that didn't receive it.
The treatment could potentially limit secondary damage to the spinal cord in humans after an injury, if administered a few hours after the accident in an emergency room or by paramedics in an ambulance.
There is still the original damage, but we were able to prevent the secondary damage," said co-senior author Dr. Jack Kessler, a professor of neurology at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine and a Northwestern Medicine neurologist.
We really believe this is something we'll be able to take to the clinic."