Tuesday, July 28, 2009
More Blue Blog Posts!
I'm just not sure how I feel about this picture. At first, I was excited to hear about this research which is investigating the use of a common food dye to minimize the long term effects of spinal cord injury. But then when I see a creature who has been deliberately paralyzed, I have second thoughts.
The goal of these experiments is to come up with a treatment to combat the body's response to a spinal injury. For some reason, within minutes of injury, the body unleashes chemicals which prevents damaged nerve cells from ever healing. Nobody is quite sure why this happens.
Apparently, though, if a particular blue food dye is administered, it prevents this response from occurring in mice.
For this to work in the real world, with humans, the only problem of course is timing. I know exactly how I spent my first 15 minutes with a spinal cord injury; I was lying on the concrete floor I had just landed on while my coworkers raced around to call for help and then waited with me for the fire department to arrive.
It seems to me that if this research pans out, it may only be of value to professional football players. They are only people I can think of who have neurosurgeons standing around waiting for them to get hurt and can administer treatment immediately.