Sunday, December 16, 2007

Not All Steroids Are Bad

In my last post, I discussed Kevin Everett's story and the controversial treatment for his spinal cord injury. The controversial part is the hypothermia treatment they used to drop his body temperature down to about 92 degrees. That, along with the not-so-controversial part of his treatment, which is infusing large doses of Solumedrol, an anti-inflammatory steroid, kept the swelling down in the affected area of his neck, the 3rd, 4th and 5th cervical vertebrae.

That is what kept him from being paralyzed. The medical community has mixed feelings about the induced hypothermia because of the potential side effects. There haven't been any scientific studies done on this new procedure; but after seeing how it worked on Kevin Everett, I wish it would have been available when I had my accident. I'm guessing in the not-to-distant future it will become a common practice. That's very exciting for me to think about.

Dr. Barth Green, MD, the Miami Project's president and co-founder, has done some pre-clinical research on the subject. You can read more about this story by clicking here.

On the other end of the steroid spectrum are the anabolic steroids we've been hearing about for years and the illegal use among athletes to enhance their performance. With the release of the Mitchell Report last Thursday, it has come front and center again in the sports world.

In October, Marion Jones admitted to using steroids and had to return her five Olympic medals. Last week the International Olympic Committee (IOC) officially striped her, and her relay teammates of their records and Olympic accomplishments.

It's nice to see good news about drugs and an athlete these days. It's especially exciting for me to see new treatments, used in conjunction with proven treatments, like using Solumedrol to keep accident victims with potentially life-threatening spinal cord injuries have new hope that they, like Kevin Everett, may not have to take the same journey people with spinal cord injuries like mine have had to travel.

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