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 April 24, 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 April 24, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Deadly Fungus Killing Bats, Spreading in US

Deadly Fungus Killing Bats, Spreading in US

AP (Apr. 24, 2014) A disease that has killed more than six million cave-dwelling bats in the United States is on the move and wildlife biologists are worried. White Nose Syndrome, discovered in New York in 2006, has now spread to 25 states. (April 24) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Companies Ramp Up Wellness to Lower Health Costs

Companies Ramp Up Wellness to Lower Health Costs

AP (Apr. 24, 2014) That little voice telling you to exercise, get in shape and get healthy is probably coming from your boss. More companies are beefing up wellness programs to try and cut down their health care costs. (April 24) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Blood From World's Oldest Woman Suggests Life Limit

Blood From World's Oldest Woman Suggests Life Limit

Newsy (Apr. 24, 2014) Scientists say for the extremely elderly, their stem cells might reach a state of exhaustion. This could limit one's life span. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
FDA Wants To Ban Sales Of E-Cigarettes To Minors

FDA Wants To Ban Sales Of E-Cigarettes To Minors

Newsy (Apr. 24, 2014) The Food and Drug Administration wants to crack down on the use of e-cigarettes, banning the sale of the product to minors. Video provided by Newsy
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