There are about a quarter of a million people in the United States living with spinal cord injuries. In addition, between 7,600 and 10,000 new injuries occur each year. Nearly half of these new injuries will occur in young people between the ages of 16 and 30. As a person in this category, I have become very interested in the research to find a cure for spinal cord injuries and hope to share some of the information I found with you today. In order for you to fully understand the details I will be sharing with you, I'd like to begin with a …show more content…
One very important discovery that has been made is that of a so-called no-go' gene which scientists say may block the regrowth of nerves.
The research going on now is very exciting and may provide hope for thousands of people. In fact, a study is going on at Phoenix's own Good Samaritan Regional Medical Center that involves implanting a nerve stimulator in the spinal cord, allowing the damaged cord to receive signals from the brain. This study has already begun its human testing phase with three Valley residents, a very promising sign. Elsewhere in the country, doctors are performing operations known as tendon transfers', where a paralyzed forearm muscle is disconnected from the bones of the hand and then connected to arm muscles regulated by parts of the spine above the injury.
Perhaps the most interesting and controversial new research study is that of fetal stem cells. Derived from 7-day-old human embryos, these stem cells can transform into just about any kind of tissue, as shown in this illustration. This mutative ability has the potential to cure diseases and conditions such as multiple sclerosis, Parkinson's disease, diabetes, heart disease, Alzheimer's, Lou Gehrig's disease, and spinal cord injuries, and have already been used against certain types of cancer.
The controversy behind the stem cell research has been raging