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Study identifies spinal cord circuit that controls hand grasping

by | Apr 12, 2013 | Spinal Cord Injuries |

As we have mentioned before on this blog, motor vehicle accidents can cause a great deal of harm. There are many different types of injuries such accidents can cause individuals to suffer. One type of injury car accident victims sometimes sustain are spinal cord injuries.

Spinal cord injuries can have many impacts on their victims. One thing spinal cord injuries sometimes cause is loss of hand function. Loss of hand function can have many effects on an individual’s life.

Recently, a study was published which contained a new finding regarding hand function. The study was published in the journal Neuron and it was conducted by researchers from Dalhousie University in Canada.

The study was conducted on mice. In the study, the researchers were looking at a specific spinal cord circuit. Reportedly, the researchers initially thought that the circuit might play a role in walking patterns. However, as the study went on, the researchers began to believe that the circuit might be related to the hand’s ability to grasp. After further research, the researchers confirmed that the circuit is the one that controls the hand’s ability to grasp and that disruption of this circuit impacts this ability.

Why could the discovery made in this study be important? Well, it could be important because knowing what spinal cord circuit controls hand grasping gives researchers a starting point for developing potential treatments to address loss of hand function caused by things like spinal cord injuries. It will be interesting to see what sorts of research and studies are done in follow up of this study’s findings.

Source: Dalhousie University, “Getting a grip on hand function,” Melanie Jollymore, April 11, 2013

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