Omega-3 fatty acids, the stuff from seafood, seem to be pretty miraculous substances. My doctor has me taking them right now, as a matter of fact. I don’t really know why, but he’s a doctor, right?
Well, it turns out that omega-3 fatty acids supposedly do a lot of good stuff for your body such as reducing your chance of sudden cardiac death and heart arrhythmias, lessening the likelihood of heart attacks, improving circulation, and reducing blood pressure slightly. And now, it would seem, another benefit can be added to that list: omega-3 fatty acids have been shown to help with the treatment of spinal cord injuries.
The promise that these fatty acids show is in protection against secondary injury in SCI patients. Secondary injury is caused basically as a reaction to the initial SCI injury. The spinal cord swells up, nerve fibers deteriorate, and cavities and cysts form in the spinal cord. This all begins to happen immediately after the primary injury occurs. Simply put, the secondary injury spreads from the initial injury point, causing massive damage to a larger area of the spinal cord. It may not be possible to reverse the damage of the first injury, but decreasing the impact of the secondary injury is feasible.
When injected into rats 30 minutes after SCI, the fatty acids were shown to significantly protect against secondary injury. Furthermore, continued dosages of the fatty acids following the injury showed a marked improvement as well.
It is recommended that the treatment be started within an hour of injury. Maybe one day omega-3 fatty acids will be a common tool of EMTs. Thoughts?