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Oxygen Levels May Influence Recovery From Spinal Cord Injury

(credit: Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

(credit: Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

(Dr. Brian McDonough) Dr. Brian McDonough
Dr. Brian McDonough has been medical editor at KYW Newsradio for more...
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By Dr. Brian McDonough, Medical Editor

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) - Spinal cord injuries can have a dramatic effect on our ability to move and, depending on where the lesion occurs, it can have a major impact on our bodies and movement.

In a recent study researchers followed 19 people with spinal cord injuries who had the ability to walk at least one step without human assistance. The goal was to see if reducing the amount of oxygen could have an impact on their ability to increase muscle strength.

What they found is that patients exposed to low oxygen performed better than those with normal oxygen levels. The researchers are not sure why this occurs and only conducted the study because they noticed low oxygen helped in the case of rats.