Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Commonly used supplement may improve recovery from spinal cord injuries

Date:
September 29, 2011
Source:
University of Kentucky
Summary:
A commonly used supplement is likely to improve outcomes and recovery for individuals who sustain a spinal cord injury, according to new research.

A commonly used supplement is likely to improve outcomes and recovery for individuals who sustain a spinal cord injury (SCI), according to research conducted by University of Kentucky neuroscientists.

Related Articles


Sasha Rabchevsky, associate professor of physiology, Patrick Sullivan, associate professor of anatomy and neurobiology, and Samir Patel, senior research scientist -- all of the UK Spinal Cord and Brain Injury Research Center (SCoBIRC) -- have discovered that in experimental models, severe spinal cord injury can be treated effectively by administering the supplement acetyl-L-carnitine or ALC, a derivative of essential amino acids that can generate metabolic energy, soon after injury.

The researchers previously reported that following spinal cord injury, the mitochondria, or energy-generation components of cells, are overwhelmed by chemical stresses and lose the ability to produce energy in the form of the compound adenosine triphosphate (ATP). This leads to cell death at the injury site and, ultimately, paralysis of the body below the injury level.

Rabchevsky, Sullivan and Patel have recently demonstrated that ALC can preserve the vitality of mitochondria by acting as an alternative biofuel providing energy to cells, thus bypassing damaged mitochondrial enzymes and promoting neuroprotection.

Results soon to be published show that systemic administration of ALC soon after a paralyzing injury promoted the milestone recovery of the ability to walk. Unlike the animal control group given no ALC, which regained only slight hindlimb movements, the group treated with ALC recovered hindlimb movements more quickly and were able to stand on all four limbs and walk a month later. Critically, such remarkable recovery was correlated with significant tissue sparing at the injury site following administration of ALC.

Because ALC can be administered orally, and is well-tolerated at relatively high doses in humans, researchers believe that their discovery may be translated easily to clinical practice as an early intervention for people with traumatic spinal cord injuries.

Initial funding for these studies was provided by the Kentucky Spinal Cord and Head Injury Research Trust (KSCHIRT). Based on their findings, the research team has been awarded additional grant funding from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the Craig H. Neilsen Foundation, with the aim of enabling the investigators to study the beneficial effects of combining ALC with an antioxidant agent known as N-acetylcysteine amide (NACA). The results were reported at the recent National Neurotrauma Society Symposium in July 2011, and will be presented again at the Society for Neuroscience meeting in November 2011.

When translated into clinical practice, this research is expected to offer a viable pharmacological option for promoting neuroprotection and maximizing functional recover following traumatic spinal cord injury.


Story Source:

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


Journal References:

  1. Samir P. Patel, Patrick G. Sullivan, Jignesh D. Pandya, Alexander G. Rabchevsky. Differential effects of the mitochondrial uncoupling agent, 2,4-dinitrophenol, or the nitroxide antioxidant, Tempol, on synaptic or nonsynaptic mitochondria after spinal cord injury. Journal of Neuroscience Research, 2009; 87 (1): 130 DOI: 10.1002/jnr.21814
  2. Patrick G. Sullivan, Sairam Krishnamurthy, Samir P. Patel, Jignesh D. Pandya, Alexander G. Rabchevsky. Temporal Characterization of Mitochondrial Bioenergetics after Spinal Cord Injury. Journal of Neurotrauma, 2007; 24 (6): 991 DOI: 10.1089/neu.2006.0242
  3. Samir P. Patel, Patrick G. Sullivan, Travis S. Lyttle, Alexander G. Rabchevsky. Acetyl-l-carnitine ameliorates mitochondrial dysfunction following contusion spinal cord injury. Journal of Neurochemistry, 2010; DOI: 10.1111/j.1471-4159.2010.06764.x

Cite This Page:

University of Kentucky. "Commonly used supplement may improve recovery from spinal cord injuries." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 29 September 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/09/110928185025.htm>.
University of Kentucky. (2011, September 29). Commonly used supplement may improve recovery from spinal cord injuries. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 30, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/09/110928185025.htm
University of Kentucky. "Commonly used supplement may improve recovery from spinal cord injuries." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/09/110928185025.htm (accessed October 30, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Mind-Controlled Prosthetic Arm Restores Amputee Dexterity

Mind-Controlled Prosthetic Arm Restores Amputee Dexterity

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Oct. 29, 2014) A Swedish amputee who became the first person to ever receive a brain controlled prosthetic arm is able to manipulate and handle delicate objects with an unprecedented level of dexterity. The device is connected directly to his bone, nerves and muscles, giving him the ability to control it with his thoughts. Matthew Stock reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Google To Use Nanoparticles, Wearables To Detect Disease

Google To Use Nanoparticles, Wearables To Detect Disease

Newsy (Oct. 29, 2014) Google X wants to improve modern medicine with nanoparticles and a wearable device. It's all an attempt to tackle disease detection and prevention. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Can Drinking Milk Lead To Early Death?

Can Drinking Milk Lead To Early Death?

Newsy (Oct. 29, 2014) Researchers in Sweden released a study showing heavy milk drinkers face an increased mortality risk from a variety of causes. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Obama: The US Will Not 'run and Hide' From Ebola

Obama: The US Will Not 'run and Hide' From Ebola

AP (Oct. 29, 2014) Surrounded by health care workers in the White House East Room, President Barack Obama said the U.S. will likely see additional Ebola cases in the weeks ahead. But he said the nation can't seal itself off in the fight against the disease. (Oct. 29) Video provided by AP
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:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

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