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J Neurosurg Spine. 2012 Aug;17(2):134-40. doi: 10.3171/2012.5.SPINE1216. Epub 2012 Jun 26.

Dietary therapy to promote neuroprotection in chronic spinal cord injury.

Author information

1
Department of Neurosurgery, David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, Los Angeles, CA 90095-6901, USA. lholly@mednet.ucla.edu

Abstract

OBJECT:

The pathogenesis of cervical spondylotic myelopathy (CSM) is related to both primary mechanical and secondary biological injury. The authors of this study explored a novel, noninvasive method of promoting neuroprotection in myelopathy by using curcumin to minimize oxidative cellular injury and the capacity of omega-3 fatty acids to support membrane structure and improve neurotransmission.

METHODS:

An animal model of CSM was created using a nonresorbable expandable polymer placed in the thoracic epidural space, which induced delayed myelopathy. Animals that underwent placement of the expandable polymer were exposed to either a diet rich in docosahexaenoic acid and curcumin (DHA-Cur) or a standard Western diet (WD). Twenty-seven animals underwent serial gait testing, and spinal cord molecular assessments were performed after the 6-week study period.

RESULTS:

At the conclusion of the study period, gait analysis revealed significantly worse function in the WD group than in the DHA-Cur group. Levels of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), syntaxin-3, and 4-hydroxynonenal (4-HNE) were measured in the thoracic region affected by compression and lumbar enlargement. Results showed that BDNF levels in the DHA-Cur group were not significantly different from those in the intact animals but were significantly greater than in the WD group. Significantly higher lumbar enlargement syntaxin-3 in the DHA-Cur animals combined with a reduction in lipid peroxidation (4-HNE) indicated a possible healing effect on the plasma membrane.

CONCLUSIONS:

Data in this study demonstrated that DHA-Cur can promote spinal cord neuroprotection and neutralize the clinical and biochemical effects of myelopathy.

PMID:
22735048
PMCID:
PMC3951955
DOI:
10.3171/2012.5.SPINE1216
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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