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Handb Clin Neurol. 2012;109:617-36. doi: 10.1016/B978-0-444-52137-8.00038-3.

Combination therapies.

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Departments of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, Pittsburgh, PA, USA.


Spinal cord injury (SCI) has multiple consequences, ranging from molecular imbalances to glial scar formation to functional impairments. It is logical to think that a combination of single treatments implemented in the right order and at the right time will be required to repair the spinal cord. However, the single treatments that compose the combination therapy will need to be chosen with caution as many have multiple outcomes that may or may not be synergistic. Single treatments may also elicit unwanted side-effects and/or effects that would decrease the repair potential of other components and/or the entire combination therapy. In this chapter a number of single treatments are discussed with respect to their multiplicity of action. These include strategies to boost growth and survival (such as neurotrophins and cyclic AMP) and strategies to reduce inhibitory factors (such as antimyelin-associated growth inhibitors and digestion of glial scar-associated inhibitors). We also present an overview of combination therapies that have successfully or unsuccessfully been tested in the laboratory using animal models. To effectively design a combination therapy a number of considerations need to be made such as the nature and timing of the treatments and the method for delivery. This chapter discusses these issues as well as considerations related to chronic SCI and the logistics of bringing combination therapies to the clinic.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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