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Infection Prevention.

New research led by The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center found a potential therapeutic strategy to prevent infections in patients with spinal-cord injuries (SCI).

This research breaks new ground in the development of treatments to prevent and reduce the incidence of infections without the use of antibiotics, and its results have been published online in the journal Nature Neuroscience.

Researchers demonstrated that susceptibility to spontaneous pneumonia and severe lymphopenia after SCI resulted from a maladaptive sympathetic-neuroendocrine reflex involving the adrenal glands. Lymphopenia is an abnormally low level of lymphocytes, or white blood cells, that manage microbial host defense.

The discovery of this "immune system paralysis" and its underlying mechanisms represents an important step on the path to improving the treatment of SCI patients.

Disrupting nerve fibers to the adrenal glands by high-level, but not low-level, thoracic spinal-cord transection resulted in almost complete suppression of circulating norepinephrine levels and profound stimulation of systemic corticosterone levels. Identical findings were seen in human patients with traumatic complete SCI, the researchers wrote.

Given that infections are highly prevalent in SCI patients, orthodox antibiotic treatments start to lose their effectiveness with time because of the development of resistances.

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Title Annotation:newsbeat
Publication:PN - Paraplegia News
Date:Dec 1, 2017
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