Dye May Hold Key To Treating Spinal Cord Injuries

July 31, 2009

New York (ChattahBox) – A new breakthrough may have been made in how spinal cord injuries, which can effect everything from mobility to chronic migraines, are treated. And it may be as simple as M&M’s.

Maiken Nedergaard, M.D., and her team or researchers have found that a compound remarkably similar to the same dye used in M&M’s can be injected into the spinal cord of rats with severe injuries that have left them paralyzed, and their mobility will improve.

It is called Brilliant Blue G, and when rats were injected with the dye they were actually able to get up and move about on their own, a significant improvement to their former condition.

The rats that were not given the dye showed no improvement on their own.

There are some side effects to the treatment, for instance, the rats did turn blue for a short time. But the implications are heavy.

The way it is believed that the dye works in treating the injury is by blocking ATP, which floods into the area and causes severe inflammation. This inflammation can cause severe pain, migraines, paralysis, and other problems that are difficult to treat as a result.

When the ATP is blocked, cells, which are normally killed by the inflammation, are allowed to grow and begin healing the area.

Dr. Nedergaard has said that she believes the methods for treatment could change as a result of this finding, but that more research is needed.

The study has been published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.



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