10 top advancements in SCI repair in the last 2 decades


London, England-based Bolt Burdon Kemp created an interactive timeline highlighting the greatest advances in spinal injury repair in the last two decades.

Bolt Burdon Kemp lawyers take on complex medical negligence cases, spinal injury and highly sensitive military claims.


1. Spinal cord plasticity —2001

  • A study published in Nature Reviews Neuroscience revealed SCI patients experienced some restored function in impacted limbs after physiotherapy.


2. Sodium channel blockers —2001

  • Canadian researchers reported the drug riluzole had the potential to protect nerve cells following SCI.


3. Minocycline —2006

  • Researchers discovered minocycline could protect nerves as well as stop inflammation following SCI.


4. Botulinum toxin — 2008

  • An American Journal of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation-published study revealed botulinum toxin could treat spasticity and spasm following SCI.


5. Therapeutic hypothermia — 2012

  •  The Miami Project to Cure Paralysis researchers found therapeutic hypothermia could impact the progression of spinal cord injury if implemented right after injury.


6. Thought control —2014

  • A U.S.-developed device helped a quadriplegic patient move his hand and fingers with his thoughts.


7. Nose nerve cell transplant —2014

  • A paralyzed patient experienced partial voluntary movement recovery in part of his limbs after receiving transplantation of his nose nerve cells and nerve bridging.


8. Scar-busting chondroitinase — 2015

  • Kings College, London researchers demonstrated chondroitinase could dissolve scar tissue in animals.


9. Stem cell treatment for cervical SCI —2016

  • Asterias Biotherapeutics reported improvements in SCI patients following treatment with human embryonic stem cells growing into oligodendrocytes.


10. Fat-derived stem cells transplant —2016

  • South Korean researchers implanted stem cells grown from fat tissue into SCI patients, finding improvements in motor skills.


Check out the timeline to see what is still ahead.


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