Another View of Suboptimal Healing

Human biochemistry isn't as well set up for regeneration as it might be, particularly in the case of nerve damage. But medical technology will one day change all that: "The inflammatory response following a spinal cord injury appears to be set up to cause extra tissue damage instead of promoting healing ... The injury opens tissue to the external environment, increasing the potential to be exposed to pathogens. The immune system doesn't care that the spinal cord is damaged - it just wants to keep the organism alive. And neurons want to regrow, but when they try to grow their axons, they hit a wall of inflammatory cells that they can't get past or that are working against them. ... All of the responding cells in question are macrophages, but the study revealed that they have slightly different characteristics that define their functions. The research suggests that changing the balance of how these cells are activated in favor of the anti-inflammatory macrophages could be a potential treatment strategy. ... if we could minimize damage caused by inflammation, that would be helpful. Each axon that dies gets you closer to a threshold where you lose function. If we could just keep axons and neurons alive, we may have a better chance at promoting recovery."



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