Thesis: Effects of Brilliant Blue G. On Spinal Cord Injury

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¶ … Brilliant Blue G. On spinal cord injury

The spinal cord is the thick elongated bundle of nervous tissues, which is enclosed within the vertebral column or spine and extends from the base of the brain to the rest of the body (Laberge 2010). Its chief function is to carry nerve impulses between the brain and the rest of the body. The brain and the spinal cord together form the central nervous system or CNS. The spinal cord is a very important component of CNS as the link between the brain and the spinal nerves, which connect the muscles and body organs. The other nerves, the motor and sensory nerves, make up the peripheral nervous system or PNS. The spinal cord transmits messages also to body organs performing involuntary or automatic body functions. Some of these functions are the regulation of the chemical contents of the blood and body fluids through an automatic control system, the regulation of the heart, stomach and intestines. The automatic control system involves the spinal cord and its network (Laberge).

The spinal cord is subject to trauma, diseases and disorders. Trauma to the vertebral column can injure the spinal column (Laberge 2010). The nerves may get compressed and lead to muscle weakness, abnormal sensations, torn or severed spinal cord or paralysis. Severe injuries can impair or destroy spinal cord functions. A damaged spinal cord can cut off sensations or motor functions or both below the level of the injury. The higher the level of injury, the more severe and even fatal is the consequence. Other disorders include epidural abscesses, foraminal stenosis, pinched nerve, sciatica, and spinal stenosis (Laberge).

Spinal Cord Injuries

These injuries are often permanent and bring about nerve deficiency and disability (Schreiber 2009). They are so great that only the costs of mental retardation exceed them, according to the National Institutes of Health. These injuries are either primary or secondary. Mechanical disruption, transaction and distraction of neural elements are primary spinal cord injuries, which occur with fracture, spine dislocation, or penetration of bullets or weapons and extradural infections. Primary spinal injuries may, however, occur without spinal fracture or dislocation. Secondary spinal cord injuries are vascular injuries. They are often caused by arterial disruption, arterial thrombosis or hypoperfusion due to shock. These conditions may be complete or incomplete. They are complete if there is clinical and complete loss of motor and sensory function below the level of the injury. They are incomplete if the loss of sensory and/or motor function below the level of injury is only partial (Schreiber).

Approximately 40 cases per million people or 12,000 patients suffer from spinal cord injury, according to the National Spinal Cord Injury database (Schreiber 2009). The number of those who survive spinal cord injury continues to increase but remains below the general population. The 2003 U.S. Life Tables compare that a health 20-year-old can expect to live to 78.4 years but a quadriplegic at 20 may live only up to 60. According to 2000 statistics, 63% of those who suffered from spinal cord injury were Caucasian, male at a 4:1 ratio and half of whom were aged 16-30. Most common causes were motor vehicle accidents, falls, gunshot wounds and sports. These motor vehicle accidents were often caused by drunk driving, alcohol or drug abuse. These patients are best treated at a regional spinal cord injury center. Those with complete spinal cord injuries can expect only 5% chance of recovery. Those whose paralysis remains at 72 hours have essentially zero chances. Those chances are better for those with incomplete cord syndromes higher than 50% if some sensory function is preserved. Up to 90% of them will eventually regain independent walking. These are encouraging figures, considering that the mortality rate with complete injuries was nearly 100% in the early 1900s. Credit should go the introduction of antibiotics for pneumonia and urinary tract infections. The 5-year survival rate of a traumatic quadriplegia is now 89% and hospital mortality rate is now at low levels (Schreiber).

Brilliant Blue G. Food Dye

A compound similar to the blue food dye, which gives the blue color to sports drink Gatorate and M & M. candy has raised hope of improvement for secondary injury spinal cord sufferers (Hendrich 2009; Kelly 2009; Reinhardt et al., 2010). The compound, called Brilliant Blue G, blocks the progression of… [END OF PREVIEW]

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APA Format

Effects of Brilliant Blue G. On Spinal Cord Injury.  (2010, January 18).  Retrieved November 22, 2019, from

MLA Format

"Effects of Brilliant Blue G. On Spinal Cord Injury."  18 January 2010.  Web.  22 November 2019. <>.

Chicago Format

"Effects of Brilliant Blue G. On Spinal Cord Injury."  January 18, 2010.  Accessed November 22, 2019.