Paralysis prevention technology
Researchers with the Center for Paralysis Research in Purdue University's School of Veterinary Medicine have developed a technology that may someday prevent paralysis in humans with spinal cord injuries. The technology utilizes polyethylene glycol (PEG) to treat acute spinal cord injuries brain trauma, peripheral nerve damage or stroke. When administered within 72 hours of serious spinal injury, PEG was shown in preclinical studies to prevent or reduce permanent spinal damage in most dogs. Lab tests revealed that, even when the spine was initially damaged to the point of paralysis, PEG prevented the nerve cells from rupturing irrevocably, enabling them to heal themselves.
The technology is licensed exclusively to Memphis, Tenn.-based Medtronic Sofamor Danek, the spinal business of Medtronic Inc. (NYSE: MDT).