Strategies for regeneration and repair in spinal cord traumatic injury.

INSERM U. 336, Université Montpellier II, B.P. 106, Place E. Bataillon, 34095 Montpellier, France.
Progress in brain research (Impact Factor: 4.19). 02/2002; 137:191-212. DOI: 10.1016/S0079-6123(02)37017-1
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Spinal cord injury is frequently followed by the loss of supraspinal control of sensory, autonomic and motor functions at the sublesional level. In order to enhance recovery in spinal cord-injured patients, we have developed three fundamental strategies in experimental models. These strategies define in turn three chronological levels of postlesional intervention in the spinal cord. Neuroprotection soon after injury using pharmacological tools to reduce the progressive secondary injury processes that follow during the first week after the initial lesion. This strategy was conducted up to clinical trials, showing that a pharmacological therapy can reduce the permanent neurological deficit that usually follows an acute injury of the central nervous system (CNS). A second strategy, which is initiated not long after the lesion, aims at promoting axonal regeneration by acting on the main barrier to regeneration of lesioned axons: the glial scar. Finally a mid-term substitutive strategy is the management of the sublesional spinal cord by sensorimotor stimulation and/or supply of missing key afferents, such as monoaminergic systems. These three strategies are reviewed. Only a combination of these different approaches will be able to provide an optimal basis for potential therapeutic interventions directed to functional recovery after spinal cord injury.

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    ABSTRACT: INTRODUCTION: Thanks to the Internet, we can now have access to more information about spinal cord repair. Spinal cord injured (SCI) patients request more information and hospitals offer specific spinal cord repair medical consultations. OBJECTIVE: Provide practical and relevant elements to physicians and other healthcare professionals involved in the care of SCI patients in order to provide adequate answers to their questions. METHOD: Our literature review was based on English and French publications indexed in PubMed and the main Internet websites dedicated to spinal cord repair. RESULTS: A wide array of research possibilities including notions of anatomy, physiology, biology, anatomopathology and spinal cord imaging is available for the global care of the SCI patient. Prevention and repair strategies (regeneration, transplant, stem cells, gene therapy, biomaterials, using sublesional uninjured spinal tissue, electrical stimulation, brain/computer interface, etc.) for the injured spinal cord are under development. It is necessary to detail the studies conducted and define the limits of these new strategies and benchmark them to the realistic medical and rehabilitation care available to these patients. CONCLUSION: Research is quickly progressing and clinical trials will be developed in the near future. They will have to answer to strict methodological and ethical guidelines. They will first be designed for a small number of patients. The results will probably be fragmented and progress will be made through different successive steps.
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    Brain research 07/2011; 1399:1-14. · 2.46 Impact Factor