A test that has been used in the past to measure a toxin in people who smoke or use tobacco is now being used to measure this same substance in people with spinal injuries or those who suffer from Multiple Sclerosis. This treatment could benefit those receiving home care for MS.
Called acrolein, the toxin can worsen symptoms for people with MS. Finding a way to measure and prevent the toxin from entering the body is what scientists hope to accomplish with the new research.
“We wanted to see if higher levels of acrolein corresponds to greater severity of spinal cord injury, and the answer is yes,” Riyi Shi, a professor of neuroscience and biomedical engineering in Purdue University’s Department of Basic Medical Sciences, School of Veterinary Medicine, Center for Paralysis Research and Weldon School of Biomedical Engineering, told Science Blog. “This means reducing acrolein may help to control symptoms.”
Some symptoms of MS include chronic pain, numbness and fatigue. These symptoms are onset by damage to the central nervous system, which can disrupt nerve signals between the brain and the spinal chord. This new testing could help with spine pain if it is developed further.