Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Intensive Training Post-spinal Cord Injury Can Stimulate Repair In Brain And Spinal Cord

Date:
December 19, 2007
Source:
University of Alberta
Summary:
Intensive rehabilitation training for patients with spinal cord injuries can stimulate new branches growing from severed nerve fibers, alongside compensatory changes in the brain, say researchers. Most importantly, it could lead to restoring hand function and the ability to walk. A new article highlights the remarkable benefits of rehabilitation training after cervical spinal cord injury -- something that has been overshadowed in recent years by the promise of cutting-edge stem cell research.

Intensive rehabilitation training for patients with spinal cord injuries can stimulate new branches growing from severed nerve fibers, alongside compensatory changes in the brain, say Canadian researchers. Most importantly, it could lead to restoring hand function and the ability to walk.

A study recently published in the journal Brain highlights the remarkable benefits of rehabilitation training after a cervical spinal cord injury--something that has been overshadowed in recent years by the promise of cutting-edge stem cell research.

"It may be that it is neglected because it seems so simple," says the study's senior author Karim Fouad of the University of Alberta in Edmonton.

"Some people take very desperate steps when they are paraplegic. They go to other countries to receive treatments like stem cell transplantations, and most of these approaches are not really controlled trials. They undergo a lot of risk and spend a lot of money, when in fact they could see more benefits with fewer risks from sustained, intensive rehab training."

The study led by Fouad shows that when animal models with incomplete spinal cord injuries received intensive training over many weeks on a reaching task which they were able to do before their injuries, they performed significantly better than their untrained counterparts. In fact, the animals trained post-injury nearly doubled the success rate achieved by the untrained animals.

"Research has found that after incomplete spinal cord injury, there is a moderate amount of recovery based on a rewiring process, a response of the nervous system to the injury," says Fouad. "This is a naturally occurring process. What we found is that intensive rehabilitation training actually promotes this naturally occurring process. It actually enables changes in the brain and spinal cord similar to a repair process."

"The way the animals succeeded in the grasping task post-injury was not the way they did it before. They compensated. They adapted. They developed a new way to do it. What people with these injuries can take from this is that you don't have to do things the way you used to do them before-- what matters is that you attempt, practice hard and find your own adaptive strategy."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Alberta. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University of Alberta. "Intensive Training Post-spinal Cord Injury Can Stimulate Repair In Brain And Spinal Cord." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 19 December 2007. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/12/071218151732.htm>.
University of Alberta. (2007, December 19). Intensive Training Post-spinal Cord Injury Can Stimulate Repair In Brain And Spinal Cord. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 23, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/12/071218151732.htm
University of Alberta. "Intensive Training Post-spinal Cord Injury Can Stimulate Repair In Brain And Spinal Cord." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/12/071218151732.htm (accessed July 23, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Courts Conflicted Over Healthcare Law

Courts Conflicted Over Healthcare Law

AP (July 22, 2014) Two federal appeals courts issued conflicting rulings Tuesday on the legality of the federally-run healthcare exchange that operates in 36 states. (July 22) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Why Do People Believe We Only Use 10 Percent Of Our Brains?

Why Do People Believe We Only Use 10 Percent Of Our Brains?

Newsy (July 22, 2014) The new sci-fi thriller "Lucy" is making people question whether we really use all our brainpower. But, as scientists have insisted for years, we do. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Scientists Find New Way To Make Human Platelets

Scientists Find New Way To Make Human Platelets

Newsy (July 22, 2014) Boston scientists have discovered a new way to create fully functioning human platelets using a bioreactor and human stem cells. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Gilead's $1000-a-Pill Drug Could Cure Hep C in HIV-Positive People

Gilead's $1000-a-Pill Drug Could Cure Hep C in HIV-Positive People

TheStreet (July 21, 2014) New research shows Gilead Science's drug Sovaldi helps in curing hepatitis C in those who suffer from HIV. In a medical study, the combination of Gilead's Hep C drug with anti-viral drug Ribavirin cured 76% of HIV-positive patients suffering from the most common hepatitis C strain. Hepatitis C and related complications have been a top cause of death in HIV-positive patients. Typical medication used to treat the disease, including interferon proteins, tended to react badly with HIV drugs. However, Sovaldi's %1,000-a-pill price tag could limit the number of patients able to access the treatment. TheStreet's Keris Lahiff reports from New York. Video provided by TheStreet
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins