Pain from Nerve Damage - research on rats shows promise?

Nerve damage can cause a wide variety of symptoms, including pain and weakness, and can interfere with the function of the affected body part.  More than 50,000 Americans each year suffer from nerve injuries that result in a loss of feeling or function.  Although injured nerves may regrow, often this is a long slow process, and full restoration of nerve function may never occur.  Even if the nerve ultimately regenerates, interim muscle atrophy can result in a permanent loss of function.

New research is promising to speed the nerve regeneration process, however.  In a study published in the Journal of Neuroscience Research, scientists claim that research on lab rats has demonstrated that a new procedure can result in regrowth of nerves in only a few days’ time.  In the study, researchers severed the rats’ femoral nerves – nerves responsible for controlling the leg through the paw – and then, using chemical compounds, “unsealed” the nerve endings and fused them back together.   Researchers found that rats that had undergone the procedure began to experience improvement almost immediately. 

Researchers hope this discovery could be replicated in humans with similar success, providing relief and a restoration of function to those suffering from nerve damage.  Although the present study focuses on peripheral nerves, researchers are also optimistic that the procedure may ultimately have an application to spinal cord injuries. 

If you are suffering from nerve damage that makes it impossible for you to work, you may be entitled to Social Security disability benefits.  For a free consultation and answers to your questions about the Social Security disability process, contact Keefe Disability Law, toll-free, at (888) 904-6847. 
John L. Keefe
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Founding Attorney, Massachusetts Social Security Disability Lawyer