Neurodegenerative diseases, such as brain injuries and spinal injuries, can result in serious, life-long complications. Yet some cases have better outcomes than others. Researchers now believe this may be at least partially attributed to an issue in the brain’s astrocytes – special cells that surround and support neurons.
Understanding the Purpose of Astrocytes
Astrocytes were once thought to be nothing more than packing cells that support neurons. Yet science recently discovered that these star-shaped cells play both a complex and vital role in the nervous system. For example, they typically enhance neuron survival and help shape circuitry inside the brain. Unfortunately, it seems that brain and spinal injuries can turn a certain subtype of these helper cells into toxic cells.
Reactive Astrocytes Abundant After Head and Spinal Injuries
Although the exact function or effect of the subtype of helper cells is unknown, researchers noted that they were rather abundant after head and spinal injuries. Named A1 astrocytes by the research team, these cells do seem to hinder the growth of new neuron connections. Researchers also suggest that A1 cells may even be responsible for neuron death since blocking them seemed to stop the death of neurons.
More Research is Needed
Because this is the first study to discover A1 neurons and their possible effect on neuron death, more research is certainly needed. Further investigation could also help scientists better understand how to prevent or reduce the effect of toxic A1 cells after brain or spinal injury – perhaps through medication or other forms of treatment.
While this research is still in its infancy, hopefully at some time in the near future, it will assist doctors in better understanding the full impact that these injuries have on the lives of accident victims. Not only might this improve their overall quality of life through improved treatment, it could help in ensuring they receive compensation that fairly represents and reflects the serious extent of their injury and the many consequences it has on their lives.
Pursuing Compensation for Your Injury
If the negligence of another has caused you or a loved one to lose the ability to work, walk, or otherwise enjoy life as you once used to, you have the right to pursue compensation. Unfortunately, victims are often treated unfairly. Protect your rights and increase your chances of receiving the compensation you deserve. Get experienced legal assistance while pursuing your claim.
At Herrling Clark Law Firm, Ltd., we understand the devastation and challenges that your family is facing. We will fight to get you the most compensation you deserve. Learn more about how we can assist with your case by scheduling a consultation with our Green Bay spinal injury lawyers. Call us at 920-739-7366 today.