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Medical breakthrough in spinal cord damage research

When an individual in Texas suffers a spinal cord injury, the results can be life-altering. The spinal cord can be thought of as the body's main neural thoroughfare, through which messages are sent from the brain to the rest of the body. It is a complex and somewhat mysterious system of neural connections. Spinal cord damage hinders or stops this flow of signals, leaving many unable to perform even the most basic of personal care tasks.

A recent medical breakthrough has identified the specific pathway that allows the brain to send a message to the hands. The manner in which the proper level of force is applied to allow an individual to pick up or grasp items was unknown before the recently published research of two doctors. The two have identified a group of neurons in the spinal cord that process information received from sensory neurons in the hands, which is then used to send the correct signals to the muscle groups needed to perform hand functions.

The implications of this research could revolutionize treatment options for patients with spinal cord injuries, brain injuries or neurodegenerative disease. There are possibilities for medical treatments, or for the development of technological advancements that could access these signals and control assistive devices. Future developments could help patient regain control over their personal care, something that ranks high on the list of affected individuals.

When spinal cord damage is the result of negligence of another party, the victim must carefully consider all options for legal recourse. A personal injury lawsuit can lead to an award of damages, which can give patients the ability to pursue treatment options. Gaining adequate compensation for these types of injuries can make it possible to afford the treatments and technology that stem from this type of medical breakthrough, in Texas or elsewhere in the nation.

Source: Medical Express, "Getting a grip on hand function: Researchers discover spinal cord circuit that controls our ability to grasp," April 10, 2013

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