The same blue food dye found in M&Ms and Gatorade could be used to reduce damage caused by spine injuries, offering a better chance of recovery, according to new research.
Researchers at the University of Rochester Medical Center found that when they injected the compound Brilliant Blue G (BBG) into rats suffering spinal cord injuries, the rodents were able to walk again, albeit with a limp.
The only side effect was that the treated mice temporarily turned blue. The results of the study, published in the “Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences,” build on research conducted by the same center five years ago.
In August 2004, scientists revealed how Adenosine triphosphate, which is known as ATP and described as the “energy currency of life,” surges to the spinal cord soon after injury occurs.
Researchers found that the sudden influx of ATP killed off healthy cells, making the initial injury far worse. But when they injected oxidized ATP into the injury, it was found to block the effect of ATP, allowing the injured rats to recover and walk again.
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