Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Blue Food Dye And Spinal Cord Injuries

There is an old joke that asks, "What color does a Smurf turn if it is choking?" Now, what happens to a lab rat whose spinal cord is damaged, when you infuse the same blue food dye they use in M&Ms and Gatorade into that rat's blood system? The answer: it turns Smurf blue!

The rats get some functional return, but they turn blue. However, this is a good news/good news story. The first good news is the rats' spinal cords get healed to varying degrees. The second good news is the blue color eventually goes away.

In a recent interview,
lead researcher Maikn Nedergaard, from the University of Rochester Medical Center, told ScienceNews' Rachel Ehrenberg. "It could be [as simple as] you drink blue Gatorade on the way to the hospital."

You can read the entire article from gizmag.com by clicking here.

The article ends with this paragraph which I really like: "Here's hoping that this simple technology shows similar results in humans, and that it makes it through into clinical use around the world as soon as possible. Any treatment that can reduce the severity of spinal cord injuries stands to vastly improve the quality of life for victims, and for such little expense this seems like an enormous breakthrough."

I have always said science is amazing; and eventually they will find a way to cure spinal cord injury. I never would have guessed drinking blue Gatorade in the ambulance on the way to the hospital would be part of the equation!

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