Reptile May Help Humans with Spinal Cord Injury

September 22, 2022, Kitchener, Ontario

Posted by: Robert Deutschmann, Personal Injury Lawyer

green gecko on a rockGeckos are infamous for having the ability to regrow their tails after they are pulled off. Their ability has inspired researchers to investigate whether this ability can help those humans who suffer SCI (spinal cord injury).

Traumatic spinal cord injury is a leading cause of disability in Canada. It is estimated that in 2010 there were 1785 cases. There is no national registry to track it. The costs, direct and indirect, of SCI, are very high. The medical treatments, therapies, drugs, and medical devices costs are high. The loss of productivity and future income, emotional health tolls, and costs to the family for caring for their loved ones are significant.

Spinal cord injury often results from serious car accidents, bicycle accidents, and pedestrian strikes by drivers.

Research into spinal cord regeneration has been ongoing for years, much of it funded by the American military. Most recently researchers at the University of Guelph have begun investigating how geckos can regrow their tails 30 days after losing them. Gecko tails contain a portion of the spinal cord and presumably, this ability once understood could be used to help humans with SCI.

What the research has found is that the gecko tail contains a specific kind of stem cell that grows proteins in response to the injury. These proteins go on to grow a new spinal cold. Their research is published in the Journal of Comparative Neurology.
In humans, the body reacts completely differently to SCI. Our biology ‘seals’ the injured wound with scar tissue preventing regeneration. We seem to be missing the key cell types required for regeneration.
The findings of this research have implications for the treatment of humans with SCI.

If you have suffered a serious SCI as a result of an accident, please contact one of our personal injury lawyers for your initial consultation. We can help secure your future.


Posted under Accident Benefit News, Car Accidents, Catastrophic Injury, Paraplegia, Quadriplegia, Spinal Cord Injury

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Deutschmann Law serves South-Western Ontario with offices in Kitchener-Waterloo, Cambridge, Woodstock, Brantford, Stratford and Ayr. The law practice of Robert Deutschmann focuses almost exclusively in personal injury and disability insurance matters. For more information, please visit or call us toll-free at 1-519-742-7774.

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