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New study sheds light on healing role of microglia

Microglia are cells found in the central nervous system. They are classified as phagocytic because their role is to consume other cells. Microglia's role in the development and healing of the brain is known to medical experts. In fact, these cells can prune away any inactive neuronal synapses and eat bacteria and other pathogens that infect the brain. Nevada residents who have suffered brain or spine injuries should know that microglia could be crucial to their situations, too.

This is the conclusion of a recent study administered by researchers at the University of Virginia School of Medicine. They studied the effect of optical nerve injuries in mice and found that when the retinal ganglion neurons degenerated and left debris in the brain, the microglia soon engulfed it.

Microglia will consume the dead or injured neurons, thus preventing the spread of inflammation and the death of neighboring neurons. Interestingly, microglia can identify such neurons based on some of the same molecules that they use to identify bacteria and inactive synapses.

While researchers do not know how the microglia will be activated in the event of a traumatic brain injury or spinal cord injury, they believe that further studies will prove beneficial. It could help remove potentially toxic debris and limit the spread of neurodegeneration in patients.

Because brain injuries can lead to long-term effects, it's important for victims who seek restitution to obtain legal counsel. That way, they could aim for the maximum settlement possible. If negotiations fail, they could have someone by their side in the courtroom.

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