If you are paralyzed from the waist down, chances are pretty high that you are feeling both depressed and upset about never having the chance to walk again. But a new pharmaceutical research project claims to have one solution for both your problems.
Forest Laboratories antidepressant Lexapro is undergoing a study to find out if it can treat and cure spinal cord injuries, including varieties of paralysis.
Our paralysis attorneys are all for studies that have the goal of treating paralysis, but we suggest caution in the use of a pharmaceutical drug in ways not originally intended. A lot of times, that particular type of drug use can exacerbate a personal injury, but sometimes, a medical breakthrough happens. Still, it’s good that researchers are getting creative in the fight for a cure for paralysis.
Lexapro, also known as Escitalopram, affects serotonin — a chemical in the brain and spinal cord — levels in the brain. Researchers claim that Lexapro strengthens and improves existing nerve connections throughout the spinal column, which gives those affected by paralysis, paraplegia, and quadriplegia more control over their muscles during physical therapy.
Combined with a strict regimen of treadmill exercises, Forest Laboratories experimented with 50 subjects who were paralyzed from the waist down and of those who took part in the study, 34 were able to walk with some difficulty.
What Lexapro seems to be doing is increasing the amount of muscle spasms that someone with a spinal cord injury will have, most notably in the legs and hips. A lot of times this is considered to be a bad side effect, but Forest Laboratories have a different take. They claim that these muscle spasms can be trained because, essentially, they are reflexes in the body. The theory is that, despite a spinal cord injury, anyone can walk if they use those reflexes the right way.
Will this prove to be the miracle drug that is the answer for paralysis treatment? Probably not, but that doesn’t mean that we should stop trying.
If you or a loved one have suffered a spinal cord injury or become paralyzed, we urge you to contact our bilingual offices as soon as possible following the accident at 1-858-551-2090 or please click here for a free consultation with an experienced paralysis attorney. We handle all cases on a contingency fee basis, which means that you do not pay anything until we recover money on your behalf.