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New study shows promising results for spinal cord injury victims

Suffering from a spinal cord injury can cause your life to turn upside down. In many cases, car accident victims with spinal cord injuries may be unable to care for themselves and require around-the-clock care from medical professionals or family members. The hospital stays, countless surgeries, physical therapy, rehabilitation and long-term medical care services can be extremely costly and time-consuming for everyone involved. Because of these challenges, researchers are determined to find new ways to treat these injuries and improve the quality of life for patients and their families.

Many spinal injury patients have a deficiency in growth hormone, which causes a lack of sensory function. A recent study in Spain revealed that the growth hormone may be a way for spinal cord injury victims to experience an improvement in sensory function.

The study, conducted at Hospital Quiron-Teknon in Barcelona, looked at 18 patients with complete cervicodorsal section of the spinal cord. Some patients received subcutaneous injections of somatropin, a growth hormone, while others received a placebo.

Researchers tested the patients after six months of treatment and found that those receiving the growth hormone experienced more sensation below the site of the injury than those receiving the placebo.

Study researchers say that the growth hormone is not a cure for spinal injury lesions, meaning that patients will not likely be able to walk again even with treatment. However, it can make a huge difference in their lives, making it less likely for them to require a catheter and increasing their ability to feel burning sensations. These possible treatments could give hope to countless spinal cord injury victims in West Virginia.

Source: Medscape, "Growth Hormone Improves Sensory Function in Complete Spinal Injury," Becky McCall, May 24, 2017

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