Informative Speech: Spinal Cord Injuries Essay

968 Words 4 Pages
PURPOSE: To inform my audience about people in the United States living with spinal cord injuries
There are about a quarter of a million people in the United States living with spinal cord injuries. In addition, between 7,600 and 10,000 new injuries occur each year. Nearly half of these new injuries will occur in young people between the ages of 16 and 30. I have become very interested in the research to find a cure for spinal cord injuries and hope to share some of the information I found with you today. In order for you to fully understand the details I will be sharing with you, I’d like to begin
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Surgery used to remove fluid, tissue, or bone fragments, or to stabilize fractured vertebrae by fusing bones or inserting hardware has also proven to be one of the most thorough measures to prevent further harm. I received both of these treatments after my accident, and they are the same that have been used for the past decade. Until recently, doctors had no way of limiting such disabilities, aside from stabilizing the cord to prevent added destruction, treating infections, and prescribing rehabilitative therapy to maximize any remaining capabilities.

Within the past few years, however, scientists have made many new advancements. The United States Food and Drug Administration has approved 2 electronic systems that regulate muscles by sending electrical signals through implanted wires, called functional electrical stimulation (FES). Some proteins have been found to promote nerve growth and restore limb function and sensation when administered directly into injured areas of rats. Another experiment with paralyzed rats found that when immature spinal cells from adult rats were induced to grow, then implanted in the gaps of the animals’ spinal cords, limited movement was produced. One very important discovery that has been made is that of a so-called ‘no-go’ gene which scientists say may block the regrowth of nerves.


The research going on…

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