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Massachusetts spinal cord injuries: New hope for hand use

Those that suffer paralysis from a Massachusetts motor vehicle accident or other personal injury typically have a long and difficult road to recovery. Spinal cord injuries, in particular, are debilitating. Some patients never regain use of important bodily functions. One bright spot is that medical research and technology have combined to provide hope for new procedures and treatments to help patients recover use of some activities that many thought would never happen.

Recently, two doctors have announced that their research has made important breakthroughs regarding spinal cord functioning and the ability to grasp objects. Of all the problems that confront quadriplegics, hand function has been noted as the one they would most like to get back. Some patients have no ability to use them, while others can grasp objects but then cannot let go.

The doctors were actually focusing on the relationship between the spinal cord and one's ability to walk when they made their exciting discovery. It turns out that the circuit they were investigating for walking actually controls hand use. By identifying this circuit, there is hope that treatments and new technologies can offer these patients the opportunity to regain the use of their hands.

Medical science continues to make fascinating discoveries about the way that our bodies work. As each new detail is uncovered, there is new hope for those suffering spinal cord injuries, brain injuries and neurodegenerative diseases. The results of this important study were published online in early April. While it remains to be seen what further breakthroughs this new information will lead to, those victims facing these life-altering conditions will surely follow its progress. The discovery could also aid in documenting specific injuries suffered in a Massachusetts personal injury accident, as well as the projected cost of potential treatments to cure them

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

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