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How a repurposed drug is helping patients with spinal cord injuries

Dr. Michael Fehling
How a repurposed drug is helping  patients with spinal cord injuries. Dr. Michael Fehling

​Dr. Michael Fehlings and his team have discovered that the drug named riluzole has a protective effect, and they have launched a large-scale North American clinical trial

If your brain is the computer that runs your body, then your spine is the cable that delivers the operating orders. So if your spine is damaged via injury or compression, then the entire communications network is compromised and in disarray

“The outflow of the brain is through the spinal cord, so if you think of the spinal cord as being like part of a computer, then having a spinal cord injury is like disconnecting the cable from the computer,” says Dr. Michael Fehlings, senior scientist at the Krembil Research Institute, vice-chair of research in the surgery department and head of the spinal program at Toronto Western Hospital and holder of the Gerry and Tootsie Halbert Chair in Neural Repair and Regeneration.