Gabapentin prevents harmful structural changes in spinal cord

Phillip Popovich, PhDResearchers at The Ohio State University College of Medicine believe they have discovered a treatment that will prevent the structural changes in nerve cells from causing damage to the cardiovascular and immune systems of patients suffering from spinal cord injury. The drug gabapentin, most often used as a pain reliever, has been found in mice models to prevent autonomic dysfunction if applied early enough after injury.

“This is the first time a treatment has been shown to prevent the development of autonomic dysfunction, rather than manage the symptoms caused by autonomic dysfunction,” says Phillip Popovich, PhD, senior author and chair of Neuroscience at The Ohio State University College of Medicine.

Autonomic dysfunction can lead to heart attack and stroke, as well as serious recurrent infections such as pneumonia.

Learn more about the study.