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Did You Know That a Spinal Cord Injury Advances The Aging Process of The Brain?

We’ve all heard that injuries often leave long-lasting effects. And now it seems that a recent scientific discovery has proven this fact.

Scientists have discovered that people who’ve suffered a serious SCI (Spinal Cord Injury) show signs of advanced psychological aging of the brain after the injury. The level of brain aging in such people is quite similar to that of elderly human beings who often process speedy activities with trouble.


NYU Lanogone Health | Research shows that spinal cord injuries can lead to brain aging

Let’s find out more, shall we?

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Here’s what research found

The research team at the Kessler Foundation Rehabilitation Center analyzed the level of mind activation in people with SCIs against people who’re quite mature in age. They discovered that both groups had identical patterns of mind activation, meaning that people from both groups took almost the same time to process information and perform mental tasks.

When the same test was conducted on people with SCIs against same-aged people who hadn’t suffered such injuries, it was observed that SCI people processed information slower than their counterparts.

This led the researchers to believe that people suffering from long-term SCIs have a surging risk of developing cognitive deficiencies that look like the ones related to maturing age. The concept is known as “advanced cognitive maturing.” It’s been discovered that these deficiencies influence new memory and learning, instruction processing pace, and vocal fluency.


Interesting Engineering | Cognitive functions, mental control, and instruction processing speed are the most affected

This study is the primary research to analyze the nervous system of higher-order psychological activities in people suffering from SCIs.

The research, which was conducted on 30 participants, was an integral part of a bigger research project where people went through voluntary neuroimaging studies at the Rocco Ortenzio Neuroimaging Institution at the Kessler Foundation rehabilitation. There were 10 people with cervical SCIs, 10 healthy elderly humans, and 10 age-matched controls.

The participants went through standard neuropsychological testing techniques, and their instruction processing speed was analyzed utilizing timed letter comparison activities amid functional Magnetic Reverberation Imaging (fMRI).

Read – Kessler Foundation partners with Motek to develop new rehabilitation treatments

The outcomes say that…

The scientists discovered crucial variations in brain activation between the age-matched control group and SCI group, but the older groups and SCI group had identical patterns, especially in the activation of the frontal, hippocampal, and parietal regions.


Dansker & Aspromonte Associates | Scientists say that people suffering from SCIs are at the same brain age as the elderly

This proposes that people suffering from SCIs are making up for the deficiencies in their instruction processing speed by depending on the areas of the cerebrum that are associated with memory and executive control. These areas of the brain usually help with advanced brain maturing after SCIs.

So, what does the future hold?

Now that a clear connection has been established between SCI and brain aging, appropriate medications, as well as therapy sessions, can be designed to help people suffering from such injuries who often get affected by a deferred processing pace.

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