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Prog Neurobiol. 2014 Mar;114:25-57. doi: 10.1016/j.pneurobio.2013.11.002. Epub 2013 Nov 20.

From basics to clinical: a comprehensive review on spinal cord injury.

Author information

1
Life and Health Sciences Research Institute (ICVS), School of Health Sciences, University of Minho, Campus de Gualtar, 4710-057 Braga, Portugal; ICVS/3B's - PT Government Associate Laboratory, Braga/Guimarães, Portugal.
2
ICVS/3B's - PT Government Associate Laboratory, Braga/Guimarães, Portugal; 3B's Research Group - Biomaterials, Biodegradables and Biomimetics, University of Minho, Headquarters of the European Institute of Excellence on Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine, AvePark, 4806-909 Caldas das Taipas, Guimarães, Portugal.
3
Life and Health Sciences Research Institute (ICVS), School of Health Sciences, University of Minho, Campus de Gualtar, 4710-057 Braga, Portugal; ICVS/3B's - PT Government Associate Laboratory, Braga/Guimarães, Portugal. Electronic address: asalgado@ecsaude.uminho.pt.

Abstract

Spinal cord injury (SCI) is a devastating neurological disorder that affects thousands of individuals each year. Over the past decades an enormous progress has been made in our understanding of the molecular and cellular events generated by SCI, providing insights into crucial mechanisms that contribute to tissue damage and regenerative failure of injured neurons. Current treatment options for SCI include the use of high dose methylprednisolone, surgical interventions to stabilize and decompress the spinal cord, and rehabilitative care. Nonetheless, SCI is still a harmful condition for which there is yet no cure. Cellular, molecular, rehabilitative training and combinatorial therapies have shown promising results in animal models. Nevertheless, work remains to be done to ascertain whether any of these therapies can safely improve patient's condition after human SCI. This review provides an extensive overview of SCI research, as well as its clinical component. It starts covering areas from physiology and anatomy of the spinal cord, neuropathology of the SCI, current clinical options, neuronal plasticity after SCI, animal models and techniques to assess recovery, focusing the subsequent discussion on a variety of promising neuroprotective, cell-based and combinatorial therapeutic approaches that have recently moved, or are close, to clinical testing.

KEYWORDS:

Cell therapy; Clinical trials; Combinatorial therapies; Molecular therapy; Pathophysiology; Spinal cord injury

PMID:
24269804
DOI:
10.1016/j.pneurobio.2013.11.002
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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