A drug regularly used as an alternative to opioid painkillers might restore limb function to people who suffer have suffered spinal injuries, a new study by Ohio State University suggests. The drug is Gabapentin, which is also known by the brand name Neurontin.
Once a person suffers a spinal cord injury, a protein in the body can prevent the long, slender extensions of nerve cells, called axons, from regrowing. Gabapentin, OSU researchers found, might stop that protein from interfering with the regrowth of cells after an injury.
“What we found was quite surprising,” said Andrea Tedeschi, an assistant professor of neuroscience at Ohio State who co-authored the study. “The results of this study are very exciting, and this opens a number of possibilities.”
Learn more about the study over at The Columbus Dispatch.
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