American and Japanese researchers have found a potential treatment for spinal cord injury from an unexpected source-mice hair. This week, researchers unveiled their new discovery at the World Congress for Hair Research in Australia.
Researchers stumbled on this astounding discovery by accident. They were examining the skin of mice while researching cancer treatments at the Anti Cancer research lab in San Diego in California. They discovered that mice hair contained cells that, if placed on damaged nerves, could repair these nerves. Researchers used the mice hair to rejoin damaged nerves in mice with a spinal injury. At the conference, a video was shown of a mouse with a spinal injury, recuperating almost completely after being treated with hair cells.
There is enough reason to hope that this treatment can be duplicated in human beings too. Human hair has been found to contain similar cells that have equally beneficial results when used on mice with spinal cord injuries. Researchers believe that chances are high that a damaged human nerve will also respond well to the same kind of hair cell treatment.
This is likely to be very encouraging news to the more than 250,000 Americans living with spinal cord injury in the US. According to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, every day there are an estimated 10,000 to 20,000 new spinal cord injuries occurring in the country. Of these, about 38.5% occur during car accidents. More than 55% of all spinal cord injury victims are between 16 and 30 years of age. That means a major section of the productive population in the country, suffers from an injury that severely limits their ability to contribute to society and enjoy their lives.
As Atlanta accident lawyers, we regularly monitor research into treatment programs for spinal cord injuries, brain injuries as well as stem cell therapies for other catastrophic injuries. It seems like very often, there are potential “discoveries” in spinal cord injury research that very often,, turn out to be duds. This mice hair therapy however, seems to be promising not just because of the dramatic results seen in the mice, but also because human hair cells have also been used with success in treating mice with spinal cord injuries.