Spinal cord injuries result in loss of the tissue that is important for connections from the brain to the body.
PhD student Jarred Griffin explains; “At the Spinal Cord Injury Research Facility we have several lines of research that are showing promise to prevent the initial damage or to regenerate and replace the missing tissue leading to improved motor and sensory recovery. These avenues include the connexin peptide neuroprotective therapy, the scar-busting gene therapies, exercise rehabilitation, blood vessel protection, and regeneration-promoting electrical stimulation”.
Following spinal cord injury blood vessels in the cord are damaged and become leaky. This allows blood to get into the cord and this worsen the damaged and makes the size of the injury larger.
The animation shows a leaky blood vessel within the spinal cord in green and invading inflammatory blood cells shown in red.
Three Honours students: Connor Clemet, Laverne Robilliard and Andrea Gu are currently underway in the lab to understand changes that occur to blood vessels after injury and test drugs that will help protect or repair the damage.