New SAT Reading Practice Test 57: Treatment for Paralysis Passage

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Treatment for Paralysis Passage

According to a study conducted by the Christopher
and Dana Reeve Foundation, more than six million
people in the United States suffer from debilitating
paralysis. That's close to one person in every fifty
05who suffers from a loss of the ability to move or feel
in areas of his or her body. Paralysis is often caused
by illnesses, such as stroke or multiple sclerosis, or
injuries to the spinal cord. Research scientists have
made advances in the treatment of paralysis, which
10means retraining affected individuals to become
as independent as possible. Patients learn how to
use wheelchairs and prevent complications that are
caused by restricted movement. This retraining is
key in maintaining paralytics' quality of life;
15however, an actual cure for paralysis has remained
elusive—until now.
In 2014, surgeons in Poland collaborated with
the University College London's Institute of Neurol-
ogy to treat a Polish man who was paralyzed from
20the chest down as a result of a spinal cord injury.
The scientists chose this patient for their study be-
cause of the countless hours of physical therapy he
had undergone with no signs of progress. Twenty-
one months after their test subject's initial spinal
25cord injury, his condition was considered complete
as defined by the American Spinal Injury Associa-
tion (ASIA)'s Impairment Scale. This meant that he
experienced no sensory or motor function in the
segments of his spinal cord nearest to his injury.
30The doctors used a technique refined during forty
years of spinal cord research on rats. They removed
one of two of the patient's olfactory bulbs, which are
structures found at the top of the human nose. From
this structure, samples of olfactory ensheathing cells,
35responsible for a portion of the sense of smell, were
harvested. These cells allow the olfactory system to
renew its cells over the course of a human life. It is
because of this constant regeneration that scientists
chose these particular cells to implant into the
40patient's spinal cord. After being harvested, the cells
were reproduced in a culture. Then, the cells were
injected into the patient's spinal cord in 100 mini-
injections above and below the location of his injury.
Four strips of nerve tissue were then placed across a
45small gap in the spinal cord.
After surgery, the patient underwent a tailor-made
neurorehabilitation program. In the nineteen
months following the operation, not only did the
patient experience no adverse effects, but his
50condition improved from ASIA's class A to class
C. Class C is considered an incomplete spinal cord
injury, meaning that motor function is preserved to a
certain extent and there is some muscle activity. The
patient experienced increased stability in the trunk
55of his body, as well as partial recovery of voluntary
movements in his lower extremities. As a result, he
was able to increase the muscle mass in his thighs
and regain sensation in those areas. In late 2014, he
took his first steps with the support of only a walker.
60These exciting improvements suggest that the
nerve grafts doctors placed in the patient's spinal
cord bridged the injured area and prompted the
regeneration of fibers. This was the first-ever
clinical study that showed beneficial effects of cells
65transplanted into the spinal cord. The same team
of scientists plans to treat ten more patients using
this "smell cell" transplant technique. If they have
continued success, patients around the world can
have both their mobility and their hope restored.

1. The central idea of the passage is primarily concerned with

  • A. how various diseases and injuries can cause permanent paralysis.
  • B. ways in which doctors and therapists work to improve patients' quality of life.
  • C. one treatment being developed to return mobility to patients suffering paralysis.
  • D. methods of physical therapy that can help patients with spinal cord injuries.

2. The author includes a description of retraining paralytics in lines 8-13 primarily to

  • A. describe how people with paralysis cope with everyday tasks.
  • B. appeal to the reader's sympathies for people with paralysis.
  • C. show that most research scientists do not believe a cure can be found.
  • D. help readers appreciate the significance of research that may lead to a cure.

3. Based on the information in the passage, it can be inferred that the author

  • A. believes more research should be done before patients with paralysis are subjected to the treatment described in the passage.
  • B. feels that increased mobility will have a positive impact on patients suffering from all levels of paralysis.
  • C. thinks that more scientists should study paralysis and ways to improve the quality of life for patients with limited mobility.
  • D. was part of the research team that developed the new method of treating paralysis described in the passage.

4. Which choice provides the best support for the answer to the previous question?

  • A. Lines 6-8 ("Paralysis is … spinal cord")
  • B. Lines 17-20 ("In 2014 … injury")
  • C. Lines 53-56 ("The patient … extremities")
  • D. Lines 67-69 ("If they … restored")

5. As used in line 13, "restricted" most nearly means

  • A. confidential.
  • B. dependent.
  • C. increased.
  • D. limited.

6. In line 46, the author's use of the word "tailor-made" helps reinforce the idea that

  • A. the injected cells were from the patient and were therefore well-suited to work in his own body.
  • B. spinal cord cells were replaced during the transplant portion of the individualized treatment.
  • C. olfactory bulbs were removed from rats and placed in the patient's spinal cord during surgery.
  • D. the method used by doctors to locate the damaged area required expertise and precision.

7. It can be reasonably inferred from the passage that

  • A. the patient's treatment would have been more successful if scientists had used cells from another area of his body instead of from his olfactory bulbs.
  • B. cells from olfactory bulbs will be used to cure diseases that affect areas of the body other than the spinal cord.
  • C. the patient who received the experimental treatment using cells from olfactory bulbs would not have regained mobility without this treatment.
  • D. soon doctors will be able to treat spinal injuries without time-consuming and demanding physical therapy.

8. Which choice provides the best evidence for the answer to the previous question?

  • A. Lines 8-11 ("Research scientists … possible")
  • B. Lines 21-28 ("The scientists … progress")
  • C. Lines 31-33 ("They removed … nose")
  • D. Lines 60-63 ("These exciting … fibers")

9. As used in line 30, "refined" most nearly means

  • A. advanced.
  • B. improved.
  • C. experienced.
  • D. treated.

10. The success of the patient's treatment was due in large part to

  • A. studies done on other patients.
  • B. research conducted by other doctors in Poland.
  • C. many experiments performed on rats.
  • D. multiple attempts on various types of animals.

11. The procedure described in which cells from olfactory bulbs are injected into a damaged area of the spinal cord is most analogous to which of the following?

  • A. Replacing a diseased organ in a patient with an organ from a donor who has the same tissue type
  • B. Giving a patient with a high fever an injection of medication to bring the core body temperature down
  • C. Placing a cast on a limb to hold the bone in place to encourage healing after suffering a break
  • D. Grafting skin from a healthy area of the body and transplanting it to an area that has suffered severe burns