Roughly 86,000 Canadians suffer from spinal cord-related injuries and illnesses, according to the Rick Hansen Foundation. Researchers are working diligently to identify, test and implement new, effective treatments for spinal cord injury (SCI) patients.
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Canada Wants to Cure SCI
Currently, SCI treatments mainly focus on decompressing and stabilizing the spine, preventing and treating secondary issues, and rehabilitation. Many SCI patients sustain lifelong disabilities with limited neurological recovery. There is a great need and public outcry for more effective treatments — and ultimately a cure.
Fortunately, the government greatly supports SCI research. For instance, just last year, they committed to a $35 million, five-year funding plan for ongoing SCI research.
“Because of the Government of Canada’s continued commitment, along with our valued partnerships, I can say with conviction that we are standing on the threshold of an exponential expansion on the boundaries of our SCI knowledge – progress that will lead to the realization of our vision of a world without paralysis after spinal cord injury,” explained Rick Hansen, founder of the Rick Hansen Foundation.
Pharmacological Treatments for SCIs
Drugs are largely ineffective for SCIs and primarily are administered to treat secondary effects of the injury. For instance, clinicians used to prescribe various types of steroids for SCI patients, but the drugs’ efficacy is questionable, and many doctors no longer even prescribe steroids for SCI purposes anymore.
However, a few treatments may hold promise. Keep in mind that some of the pharmacotherapy for SCI patients that is being researched is controversial and efficacy is still unknown. Some of the treatments are listed below.
- Methylprednisolone – It may have neuro-protective benefits but also harmful side effects.
- Riluzole – This sodium channel blocker may have beneficial neuro-protective agents.
- Minocycline – This pharmaceutical works as an anti-inflammatory agent and may have neuro-protective benefits.
Promising SCI Advancements on the Horizon
There are a few promising advancements in SCI treatments making headway, some briefly discussed below.
- Electrical stimulation devices – Electrical stimulation devices implanted in SCI patients may be effective in helping patients regain function. The treatment may restore hand movement, control bladder and bowel function, and improve breathing functionality.
- Adaptive devices – In addition to electrical stimulations devices, other adaptive devices can help SCI victims regain independence and improve the overall quality of life. Developers are working on advancements such as neural prostheses, computer adaptations and other computer-assisted technology.
- Stem cell treatments – Preliminary studies have shown that stem cell treatment may reduce secondary damage, promote functional recovery, produce growth factors for and reinsulate damaged nerve axons, regenerate neuronal growth, and create new connections between neurons.
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Preszler Law Helps Spinal Cord Injury Victims in Ontario
If you or your loved one suffered a spinal cord injury, our lawyers in Ontario may be able to assist. Contact our injury lawyers at Preszler Law in Ontario today for a free legal consultation. Let’s determine how we may be able to help you pursue the benefits and settlement for which you’re eligible: 1-800-JUSTICE®.