One of the most serious types of injuries that can be sustained in a car accident is damage to the spinal cord. As readers likely know, the spinal cord carries messages between the brain and the body, so damage to the cord can cause paralysis. Depending on the location of the injury, you can suffer paraplegia, or decreased leg function, or quadriplegia, which is paralysis over more of your body.

Paralysis due to a spinal cord injury can be life-altering and cause a severe loss of function and independence. So any treatments to increase nerve function, such as an experimental drug being tested in California, would be welcome.

The drug is subject to a clinical trial at hospitals including Santa Clara Valley Medical Center. It is made up of synthetic molecules and is meant to decrease secondary injury after the original spinal cord trauma and promote recovery. The molecules combats cell death among the damaged nerves.

It appears that the drug is supposed to be administered beginning soon after the accident and three times a day for 28 days. That, combined with physical therapy, may limit the reduced range of motion that the injury would otherwise cause.

One of the people participating in the drug trial is a 41-year-old man who was paralyzed in the fork lift accident. Within 12 hours of the incident, he had gotten his first shot. Thanks to the drug and physical therapy, he has quickly regained the use of his arms and elbows and is hopeful that he will continue to make progress.

Source: KNTV-TV, “Research Aimed at Helping Patients With Spinal Cord Injuries Gain Mobility,” Marianne Favro, June 15, 2013