Age blunts the immune system’s ability to respond to spinal cord injuries, new animal research indicates.
But researchers working with mice also found that the membranes surrounding the spinal cord play a key role in the immune response to spinal cord injury, a discovery that might help people with these devastating injuries. They often leave patients with lifelong effects, including paralysis and the inability to control their bowels.
“Recently, it has been reported more aging individuals experience spinal cord injuries. Our findings suggest in aging, there is an impairment in how the immune response is initiated and resolved compared to young,” said researcher Andrea Salvador, who just received her PhD from the University of Virginia School of Medicine.