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Tag: Spinal

Spinal surgery for unborn babies to be available on NHS

Spinal surgery for unborn babies to be available on NHS

Health
Spinal surgery for unborn babies with the birth defect spina bifida is to be made routinely available on the NHS in England, officials have announced.The surgery involves repairing the spinal tissue of the baby while it is still in the womb.It can improve their ability to walk and reduce health problems that result from spina bifida.The procedure is among several treatments being made available on the NHS for the first time from April. Two unborn babies' spines repaired in womb Spina bifida: 'Giving babies a chance' More than 200 babies are born in the UK each year with spina bifida, where the spine and spinal cord do not develop properly during pregnancy, causing a gap in the spine. It often results in problems that include paralysis of the legs, incont...
Spinal implant helps three paralysed men walk again

Spinal implant helps three paralysed men walk again

Health
Three paralysed men, who were told they would spend the rest of their lives in a wheelchair, are able to walk again thanks to doctors in Switzerland.An electrical device inserted around the men's spines boosted signals from their brains to their legs. And it also helped damaged nerves in the spinal cord to regrow.The researchers hope that this unexpected bonus will enable some paralysed people ultimately to regain independent movement.BBC News has had exclusive access to the patients in the clinical trial, the results of which are published in the journal Nature.The first patient to be treated was 30-year-old Swiss man David M'zee, who suffered a severe spinal injury seven years ago in a sporting accident. 'Try the impossible'Dav...
Spinal disk cells in zebrafish can self-repair

Spinal disk cells in zebrafish can self-repair

Science
June 22 (UPI) -- The cells that make up the developing backbone of zebrafish can self-repair, new research shows. Unfortunately these cells disappear as the backbone matures.Before developing a backbone, embryonic and newly hatched zebrafish are supported by a notochord -- a proto-spine. The soft spine structure is similar to a water-filled garden hose. A shell of epithelial cells protects fluid-filled cells called vacuolated cells.Previous studies suggest tiny sacs in the membranes of vacuolated cells, called caveolae, prevent the fluid cells from popping as the young fish begin swimming.Researchers engineered zebrafish to be without caveolae, to see whether the tiny sacs are essential to spinal chord health and development."In the caveolar mutants, you see these serial lesions up and dow...