Spinal Cord Injuries Could Be Treated Using Gene Therapy

Spinal Cord Injuries Could Be Treated Using Gene Therapy

The future of surgery regarding spinal cord injuries might sound better than ever. Neuropathic pain for mice that had been dealing with injuries to the spinal cord or peripheral nerve was successfully reduced thanks to gene therapy. 

The achievement belongs to an international team of researchers, having University of California San Diego School of Medicine scientists as the leaders, according to SciTechDaily.com. The results obviously grant some hope that the procedure could be used for humans as well.

Injecting an adeno-associated virus

The scientists injected an adeno-associated virus that doesn’t pose any threat. Instead, it carried the GAD65 and VGAT transgenes that encode for gamma-aminobutyric acid. The targets were mice suffering from sciatic nerve injuries as well as neuropathic pain resulting from them.

Martin Marsala, MD, the senior author of the study and also a professor at the UC San Diego School of Medicine’s Department of Anesthesiology, stated as SciTechDaily.com quotes:

One of the prerequisites of a clinically acceptable antinociceptive (pain-blocking) therapy is minimal or no side effects like muscle weakness, general sedation or development of tolerance for the treatment,

A single treatment invention that provides long-lasting therapeutic effect is also highly desirable. These findings suggest a path forward on both.

Here’s what the WHO (World Health Organization) says:

Every year, around the world, between 250 000 and 500 000 people suffer a spinal cord injury (SCI).Every year, around the world, between 250 000 and 500 000 people suffer a spinal cord injury (SCI).

Spinal cord injuries surely shouldn’t be neglected one bit. Only in the USA, about 291,000 people suffer from such a condition. 39.5% of those who deal with spinal cord injuries are paraplegic, while 59.9% are quadriplegic. People who are paraplegics are affected by paralysis of their legs and lower body. As for those who are quadriplegics, all four of their limbs (both arms and legs) are affected.

The new study was published in Molecular Therapy

Cristian Antonescu

Even since he was a child, Cristian was staring curiously at the stars, wondering about the Universe and our place in it. Today he's seeing his dream come true by writing about the latest news in astronomy. Cristian is also glad to be covering health and other science topics, having significant experience in writing about such fields.

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