Recent research suggests that in traumatic spinal cord injury (SCI) patients who have sustained cervical lesions, an improved understanding of the link between the neurological damage caused by SCI, spontaneous motor function recovery, and long-term motor deficits may pave the way for enhanced therapeutic approaches. Researchers explain that 70% of traumatic SCIs are complete, however the destruction of critical nerve fibers disrupts the signals normally sent between the brain and spinal cord beyond the site of injury, causing locomotor impairment and paralysis.
To investigate further, researchers at the Hospital Nacional de Parapléjicos Finca La Peraleda, Toledo, Spain, simulated a C6 partial SCI in adult rats and assessed their recovery of motor function for 4 months. In the study, researchers hypothesize that a premotorneuronal system in the cervical spine may play a role in the production and chronic nature of limb impairment, offering the potential for designing future treatment methods. The paper is important to the SCI field, according to W. Dalton Dietrich, III, PhD, deputy editor of Journal of Neurotrauma, scientific director, The Miami Project To Cure Paralysis, and Kinetic Concepts Distinguished Chair in Neurosurgery, Professor of Neurological Surgery, Neurology and Cell Biology at University of Miami Leonard M. Miller School of Medicine, Lois Pope LIFE Center.
Dietrich emphasizes its ability to provide, “a comprehensive assessment of motor performance up to 4 months after cervical spinal cord injury. Force and kinematic data identifying progressive sensorimotor compensatory processes indicate new targets for therapeutic strategies to promote recovery and repair.”
Source: Journal of Neurotrauma