According to News-Medical.net, a new study from the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) has found that the protein IL-37 actually suppresses the inflammatory response even though drugs like methylprednisolone have proven unsuccessful in doing so.
One of the reasons IL-37 has not been researched much up until this point, even though it’s been identified for 15 years, is because it is not produced in mice, which most studies use in experiments.
In order to perform the study the team of researchers from the UAB’s Department of Cell Biology, Physiology and Immunology and Institute of Neuroscience, and the Centre for Networked Biomedical Research in Neurodegenerative Diseases (CIBERNED), led by Dr Rubén López, used genetically modified mice that produced the human form of IL-37.
The possibilities and opportunities for this discovery could open the door to breakthroughs in spinal cord injury treatments.
“Yet another study showing how research can help better everyone’s lives,” said Charles S Theofilos M.D., board-certified neurosurgeon.
An injury to the spinal cord can be one of the most devastating and debilitating conditions a human being can suffer. Due to the fact that your spinal cord acts as the pathway for your nerves to travel from the brain to different sections of your body, a spinal cord injury can affect virtually any and every body part.
The loss of mobility or function is the ultimate effect of many spinal cord injuries, but there is plenty that goes into a person’s final condition other than just the traumatic event and severity that caused the problem in the first place. One of the other factors that can have an effect on the degeneration of and overall spinal health functionality, is the inflammatory response that is naturally occurs in the human body after such an injury takes place.
It is also believed this sort of treatment in the study could be utilized in other neurodegenerative illnesses in which inflammation plays a crucial role.