Spinal cord injuries (SCI) may cause progressive brain degeneration, says a new research, as they can cause widespread and sustained brain inflammation that leads to progressive loss of nerve cells, with associated cognitive problems and depression.
“Our studies for the first time show that isolated SCI can cause progressive loss of brain cells in key brain regions,” said lead researcher Alan Faden from the University of Maryland School of Medicine in the US (UM SOM).
“This is an important and significant advancement in our understanding of the overall effects of spinal cord injuries,” added E. Albert Reece from UM SOM.
The brain degeneration was demonstrated in different experimental models and animals.
“The link between spinal trauma and brain function is now more clear, and we believe that further research in this area will offer the hope of new ways to treat this devastating trauma, and perhaps even reverse its effects on the brain,” Reece said.
The research was published in the journals Cell Cycle and Journal of Neuroscience.