• Tue, Jul 28 2009

Blue Dye Could Help Spinal Cord Injuries

This is some of the most exciting news I’ve heard recently, and at first glance it sounds too fantastic to be true. But it is.

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Researchers have experimented with rats suffering spinal cord injuries and have found a way to have them walk again with a limp. The “cure” for these rats came in the form of blue dye. Brilliant Blue G (BBG), a compound that gives blue M&Ms and Gatorade its color, was used to “thwart the function of P2X7.” P2X7 is a molecule in the spinal cord that allows Adenosine triphosphate access to the spinal cord after an injury occurs. Motor neurons in the spinal cord then die, causing the patient paralysis.

While this research has allowed rats the ability to walk again, researchers stress that it may not do the same for humans. However, the research is promising, and may greatly reduce the effects of spinal cord injuries.

The only side effect? The mice temporarily turned blue!

Watch for clinical research studies to be done on humans in the next several months and years.


Image: sxc.hu

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  • Jay

    The experiment was done in rats and not mice.

  • http://www.cherieburbach.com Cherie Burbach

    The article said “rats” and then “mice.”