Second Look – Clinical News and Views

If you missed these Headline News Now items the first time around, AAOS Now gives you a second chance to review them. Headline News Now—the AAOS thrice-weekly, online update of news of interest to orthopaedic surgeons—brings you the latest on clinical, socioeconomic, and political issues, as well as important announcements from AAOS.

Common food dye may help reduce spinal cord injuries
According to a
study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (July 28, 2009), systemic administration of the food dye Brilliant Blue G (BBG) may present a feasible approach for treating traumatic spinal cord injury (SCI). The neuroprotective effects of BBG were tested in a weight-drop model of thoracic SCI in rats. Administration of BBG 15 minutes after injury reduced spinal cord anatomic damage and improved motor recovery with no evident toxicity. Additionally, BBG treatment directly reduced local activation of astrocytes and microglia, as well as neutrophil infiltration, suggesting that BBG protected spinal cord neurons from purinergic excitotoxicity and reduced local inflammatory responses.

OI linked to collagen mutation
A
study in Biophysical Journal (August 5, 2009) finds that osteogenesis imperfecta (OI) stems from a genetic mutation that creates a defective collagen molecule that repels, rather than attracts, other collagen molecules on a range of scales. The researchers used a hierarchy of full atomistic and mesoscale simulation to demonstrate that OI mutations severely compromise the mechanical properties of collagenous tissues at multiple scales, from single molecules to collagen fibrils. Mutations that led to the most severe OI phenotype correlated with the strongest effects, leading to weakened intermolecular adhesion, increased intermolecular spacing, reduced stiffness, as well as reduced failure strength of collagen fibrils.

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