Blue dye in M&Ms linked to reducing spine injury

Thursday, 06 Aug 2009

Blue ratResearchers at the University of Rochester Medical Center have discovered that the same blue dye that is found in M&M’s and Gatorade (my favorite flavor) could be used to reduce damage caused by spine injuries.

When scientists injected rats suffering from spinal cord injuries with the blue dye also known as Brilliant Blue G (BBG), the rodents were able to walk again –never mind the fact that it was with a limp or the fact that they turned blue :( –see inset photo. The rats that were not injected never regained mobility.

There is currently no standard treatment for patients with spinal injury when they reach the hospital emergency room. As of now, 85 percent of patients who leave the hospital, leave untreated. And, hospitals question the effectiveness of the steroids given to the other 15 percent who are treated.

Scientists believe that BBG will improve a patients condition rather than curing it. The trick is that the dose of BBG must be given to the patient immediately after the injury, before additional tissue dies.

Now for the best news, researchers are currently working on clinical trials of BBG on human patients. []

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