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Metab Brain Dis. 2015 Apr;30(2):473-82. doi: 10.1007/s11011-014-9547-y. Epub 2014 May 16.

Recent advances in the pharmacologic treatment of spinal cord injury.

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Department of Neurosciences, Medical University of South Carolina, 96 Jonathan Lucas ST. MSC606, Charleston, SC, 29425, USA,


A need exists for the effective treatment of individuals suffering from spinal cord injury (SCI). Recent advances in the understanding of the pathophysiological mechanisms occurring in SCI have resulted in an expansion of new therapeutic targets. This review summarizes both preclinical and clinical findings investigating the mechanisms and cognate pharmacologic therapeutics targeted to modulate hypoxia, ischemia, excitotoxicity, inflammation, apoptosis, epigenetic alterations, myelin regeneration and scar remodeling. Successful modulation of these targets has been demonstrated in both preclinical and clinical studies with agents such as Oxycyte, Minocycline, Riluzole, Premarin, Cethrin, and ATI-355. The translation of these agents into clinical studies highlights the progress the field has made in the past decade. SCI proves to be a complex condition; the numerous pathophysiological mechanisms occurring at varying time points suggests that a single agent approach to the treatment of SCI may not be optimal. As the field continues to mature, the hope is that the knowledge gained from these studies will be applied to the development of an effective multi-pronged treatment strategy for SCI.

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