Non-neural mechanism of spasticity generation
First breaktrough happened when it was discovered that spasticity is connected with the fact that after brain or spinal cord injury human body loses substantial amount of water.
In human body water is trapped in different forms. An average adult has 5L of blood. Water is also contained in the form of cerebrospinal fluid, digestive fluids, urin.
But the biggest amount of water is trapped in the tisssue in form of the ground substance which fills up the space around each cell in the human body – around 11L.
Ground supstance is specific because trough that fluid all the nutrient exchange is happening.
If cells need nutrients, they need to go trough the ground substance to be able to get to te cell.
And opposite, if the cell needs to deliver certain enzymes or to waste out, again it has to go trough the ground substance. Transportation role of this fluid is huge.
On the other hand, this fluid is made of water and hyaluronic acid.
Normaly, it has consistency of a fluent jelly. But if body loses a big amount of water and dehydrate, the consistancy of ground substance rises.
In that case spasticity increases. When body loses water, body parts also lose their volume and spacing.
Dried plum versus fresh plum. If you can imagine that, you will understand that muscles and other structures do not have enough space.
Simply imagine you are riding a very crowded bus where everyone is stuck and pushing each other for space. That is what happens to the muscle bundles when there is no water in the body.
This discovery proves that spesticity also has non-neural origin and it is a huge discovery because it will help develop new procedures and tools to cope with spasticity and to address that problem differently.
One more new mechanism will be explained in the next article.
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