Impact on Heart and Metabolic Health by Spinal Cord Injuries: Study 

United States: Patients who experience spinal cord injury usually develop heart health problems and diabetes. The latest findings, however, indicate that researchers may be able to explain why this is happening. 

The activity of the neurons found following the damage seems to trigger an accumulation of fats breaking down into compounds which spread and leak, showing on our liver and other organs, the investigations in animals revealed. 

Andrea Tedeschi, senior study author and an assistant professor of neuroscience at Ohio State University’s College of Medicine, said, “These are quite rapid changes. As soon as we disrupt sensory processing as a result of spinal cord injury, we see changes in the fat,” as US News reported. 

Tedeschi mentioned in a university news release this causes a “chain of reactions — triglycerides start breaking down into glycerol and free fatty acids that are released in circulation and taken up by the liver, the heart, the muscles, and accumulating, setting up conditions for insulin resistance.” 

Impact on Heart and Metabolic Health by Spinal Cord Injuries: Study. Credit | Michigan Engineering
Impact on Heart and Metabolic Health by Spinal Cord Injuries: Study. Credit | Michigan Engineering

More about the study findings 

The team also has identified a potential treatment to ward off illnesses caused by this phenomenon: Gabapentin, an anti-seizure drug, blocked glucose and protein wasting, offsetting the negative metabolic effects from spinal cord injuries in the laboratory mice. 

Gabapentin works by inhibiting neurotransmitters, which become active and will cause the two parties not to vibe together by messing up the communication within the body after the damage to the central nervous system, according to researchers. 

“The occurrence of gabapentin was able to level up metabolic functions,” Tedeschi said. 

Among the most frequent causes of death in patients with a spinal cord injury are heart failure and type-2 diabetes, which are indicated by background notes of researchers. 

Scientists thought that these diseases may be linked to disruption in the way the waist size is controlled and the fast rate at which the waist is accumulating fat which is complicated. 

Impact on Heart and Metabolic Health by Spinal Cord Injuries: Study
Impact on Heart and Metabolic Health by Spinal Cord Injuries: Study

Similar “fat”- also known as adipose tissue carries the energy for later, and blood sugar level is held on an even keel by releasing the fatty acids as the fuel,researchers found. 

Sensory nerves frequently transmit information from fat tissue to the body, localizing a healing process, which triggered an idea that they might be the cause of these health issues, US News reported. 

The spine of the lab mice had a segmented injury that left the sensory nerves intact but obstructed the sympathetic “fight-or-flight” nervous system. 

The experiment also showed that a series of abnormal activities seven days after the injury, with the sensory nerves firing off signals to fat tissue. 

Tedeschi called it “a maladaptive reorganization of the sensory system.”