Stem cell research, surgery, physical therapy — all of these are different forms of spinal cord injury treatments, but now science is asking “what about the gecko?”
At the University of Calgary, a researcher and a colleague from the United States have discovered that gecko lizards might be able to aid in finding a cure for paralysis, according to the Edmonton Journal.
A gecko can sell you car accident insurance…and maybe even cure your spinal cord injury.
“Something in the tail is saying to the tail, ‘Lets use this muscle to move a lot, then take a break, then move again,'” the researcher said in regards to his study, which has found that the severed tail of the gecko can move on its own — jumping, turning, lunging — without receiving signals from the brain.
Could humans regain movement in a similar fashion if they are paraplegic or quadriplegic? The team has made the correlation between physical movements in gecko tails and the ones experienced by those living with paralysis. Once they’re removed from the body, gecko tails can still make complex movements two minutes after separation. Rhythmic movements may usually occur 30 minutes after detachment takes place.
The team recognizes that there are many things that might explain why a gecko’s tail moves after being severed. Temperature, pressure, and environmental factors could influence the movement of the tail in certain ways, but what’s most promising is the fact that human spinal cords and gecko tails have very similar biological components.
The theory: if the tail of a gecko, once removed from the body, does not need a signal from the brain to move, perhaps humans do not require it either. Regardless if their hypothesis is correct or not, the scientists agree that this study can be used as a vehicle for researching ways the nerves and muscles in the body can produce complex movements without the assistance of the brain.
Our personal injury law firm hopes that one day a cure to spinal cord injuries is discovered. Until then, we’ll keep a close eye on the use of geckos and their potential healing powers on paralysis.
Contact our bilingual offices as soon as possible following a spinal cord injury at 1-858-551-2090 or please click here for a free consultation with an experienced San Diego spinal cord injury attorney.
SENIOR PERSONAL INJURY ATTORNEY & FIRM FOUNDER
Michael Pines is a former insurance company attorney who graduated from the University of California Hastings College of the Law in 1987. While he was an insurance attorney, he learned from behind the scenes how insurance companies work and how they decide how much to pay injured people. Now that he works against insurance companies, Michael’s inside knowledge has resulted in significant benefits to his clients injured in car accidents. Learn more about Michael Pines