Opiate antagonist improves neurologic recovery after spinal injury

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Science  30 Jan 1981:
Vol. 211, Issue 4481, pp. 493-494
DOI: 10.1126/science.7455690


The opiate antagonist naloxone has been used to treat cats subjected to cervical spinal trauma. In contrast to saline-treated controls, naloxone treatment significantly improved the hypotension observed after cervical spinal injury. More critically, naloxone therapy significantly improved neurologic recovery. These findings implicate endorphins in the pathophysiology of spinal cord injury and indicate that narcotic antagonists may have a therapeutic role in this condition.