New Treatments for Spasticity on the Horizon

Researchers into spinal trauma have made great strides forward, and there is now the promise of effective therapy for sufferers of spasticity and other motor control conditions in California and beyond. Their efforts have revealed the precise disruption of neurons that causes spasticity, and this discovery brings with it the hope of effective treatment. Some promising results have already come from animal testing.

The problems appear to center on the way that sodium channels are affected by spinal lesions. The effects of trauma seem to leave these channels unable to open and close as well, which causes the muscles that take their commands from these channels to tremble, contract and jump. This is discomfiting and dangerous, and it can have deleterious effects on a patient's quality of life.

Two separate avenues of treatment are being explored by researchers. Calpain inhibitors, when tested on rats, were shown to inhibit the sodium current that causes spasticity and to keep the condition suppressed for as long as a month after cessation of treatment. The other treatment considered, riluzole, does not appear to suppress the condition for as long, but it has already been used successfully for sufferers of Lou Gehrig's disease.

Spinal cord injuries can easily lead to serious physical repercussions and permanent disability. An attorney may be able to help an injured person examine the circumstances of their injury, estimate exactly how much economic damage has occurred and file a suit to demand compensation from anyone responsible for the harm that has befallen them.

Source: Medical Xpress, "Two Potential Therapeutic Avenues for Spasticity," March 17, 2016

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