[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Study design:Retrospective review.Objectives:The International Standards for Neurological Classification of Spinal Cord Injury (ISNCSCI) assesses cutaneous sensibility through light touch (LT) and sharp-dull discrimination, referred to as pin prick (PP). This project aimed to confirm a tendency for LT to score higher than PP in SCI subjects and discuss possible reasons for such disparity.Setting:Single site cohort study, the London Spinal Cord Injury Centre, United Kingdom.Methods:A retrospective analysis of LT and PP scores of 99 spinal cord injury subjects at the time of discharge (median 5 months) from acute care and rehabilitation in the London Spinal Cord Injury Centre was conducted. Subjects were aged 10-88 years (median 44 years; 78 men, 74 traumatic, 25 non-traumatic). There were 40 American Spinal Injury Association (ASIA) Impairment Scale (AIS) A, 7 B, 18 C and 34 D subjects.Results:A disparity (P<0.001) was found between LT (64.5±3.2, mean±s.e.) and PP (54.7±2.9) AIS sensory scores. A similar difference in score (LT>PP) was registered both for traumatic and non-traumatic injury, but was greater for incomplete than for complete injury. Despite the difference, LT was well correlated with PP (R=0.87, P<0.001). Spinal segmental level of injury was determined more frequently by PP alone (43 of 99) than by LT (10 of 99) alone.Conclusion:The discrepancies between LT and PP could relate to the greater complexity of the PP test or a difference in the extent of injury to the posterior columns (LT) and spinothalamic (PP) tracts. Further interpretation would benefit from additional electrophysiological sensory tests.Spinal Cord advance online publication, 15 January 2013; doi:10.1038/sc.2012.175.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: A cross-sectional study.
To measure the change of structural and material properties at different sites of the tibia in spinal cord-injured patients using peripheral quantitative computerised tomography (pQCT).
Orthopaedic research centre (UK).
Thirty-one subjects were measured--eight with acute spinal cord injury (SCI), nine with chronic SCI and fourteen able-bodied controls. pQCT scans were performed at 2% (proximal), 34% (diaphyseal) and 96% (distal) along the tibia from the tibial plateau. Structural measures of bone were calculated, and volumetric bone mineral density (vBMD) was also measured at all three levels. Muscle cross-sectional area was measured at the diaphyseal level.
Structurally, there were changes in the cortical bone; in the diaphysis, the shape of the cross-section changed to offer less resistance to AP bending, and the cross-sectional area of the cortical shell decreased both proximally and distally. There were corresponding changes in vBMD in the anterior aspect of the cortical diaphysis, as well as proximal and distal trabecular bone. Changes in muscle occurred more rapidly than changes in bone.
There were clear changes of both structure and material at all three levels of the tibia in chronic SCI patients. These changes were consistent with specific adaptations to reduced local mechanical loading conditions. To assess fracture risk in SCI and also to monitor the effect of therapeutic interventions, the structure of the bone should be considered in addition to trabecular bone mineral density.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: To assess the effectiveness of physiological outcome measures in detecting functional change in the degree of impairment of spinal cord injury (SCI) following repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) of the sensorimotor cortex.
Subjects with complete or incomplete cervical (or T1) SCI received real and sham rTMS in a randomised placebo-controlled single-blinded cross-over trial. rTMS at sub-threshold intensity for upper-limb muscles was applied (5 Hz, 900 stimuli) on 5 consecutive days. Assessments made before and for 2 weeks after treatment comprised the ASIA (American Spinal Injuries Association) impairment scale (AIS), the Action Research Arm Test (ARAT), a peg-board test, electrical perceptual test (EPT), motor evoked potentials, cortical silent period, cardiovascular and sympathetic skin responses.
There were no significant differences in AIS outcomes between real and sham rTMS. The ARAT was increased at 1h after real rTMS compared to baseline. Active motor threshold for the most caudally innervated hand muscle was increased at 72 and 120 h compared to baseline. Persistent reductions in EPT to rTMS occurred in two individuals.
Changes in cortical motor threshold measures may accompany functional gains to rTMS in SCI subjects.
Electrophysiological measures may provide a useful adjunct to ASIA impairment scales.
Clinical neurophysiology: official journal of the International Federation of Clinical Neurophysiology 05/2011; 122(12):2452-61. · 3.12 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The ability to detect physiological changes associated with treatments to effect axonal regeneration, or novel rehabilitation strategies, for spinal cord injury will be challenging using the widely employed American Spinal Injuries Association (ASIA) impairment scales (AIS) for sensory and motor function. Despite many revisions to the AIS standard neurological assessment, there remains a perceived need for more sensitive, quantitative and objective outcome measures. The purpose of Stage 1 of the Clinical Initiative was to develop these tools and then, in Stage 2 to test them for reliability against natural recovery and treatments expected to produce functional improvements in those with complete or incomplete spinal cord injury (SCI). Here we review aspects of the progress made by four teams involved in Stage 2. The strategies employed by the individual teams were (1) application of repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) to the motor cortex in stable (chronic) SCI with intent to induce functional improvement of upper limb function, (2) a tele-rehabilitation approach using functional electrical stimulation to provide hand opening and grip allowing incomplete SCI subjects to deploy an instrumented manipulandum for hand and arm exercises and to play computer games, (3) weight-assisted treadmill walking therapy (WAT) comparing outcomes in acute and chronic groups of incomplete SCI patients receiving robotic assisted treadmill therapy, and (4) longitudinal monitoring of the natural progress of recovery in incomplete SCI subjects using motor tests for the lower extremity to investigate strength and coordination.
Brain research bulletin 03/2011; 84(4-5):343-57. · 2.18 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Osteoporosis after spinal cord injury is common. Reductions in bone density are rapid and fracture rates are higher after injury. Early treatment with 4 mg zoledronic acid significantly reduced bone loss at the hip compared to untreated individuals in the first year. Treatment appeared safe and well tolerated.
Bone mineral density (BMD) is lost rapidly following spinal cord injury (SCI), predominantly in the lower limbs. Bone turnover markers suggest an early increase in resorption.
A randomised, open-label study of 14 patients with acute SCI randomised to receive 4 mg IV zoledronic acid or standard treatment. BMD was measured by dual-X-ray absorptiometry at the lumbar spine and hip (femoral neck, total and trochanter) at baseline, 3, 6 and 12 months. Bone turnover markers (serum C-terminal telopeptide and Procollagen I N-terminal peptide and urinary N-terminal telopeptide/Cr ratio) were also measured.
After 12 months, there was a significant difference in BMD between the groups at the total hip (12.4%, p = 0.005), trochanter (13.4%, p = 0.028) and lumbar spine (2.7%, p = 0.033). However, the difference between groups at the femoral neck was not significant (4.8%, p = 0.741). In the treated group, bone resorption was reduced and remained reduced up to 12 months. Other than flu-like symptoms immediately after the infusion, no adverse events were observed.
IV zoledronic acid is an effective and well-tolerated treatment to prevent bone mineral density loss at the total hip and trochanter for up to 12 months following SCI.
Osteoporosis International 04/2010; 22(1):271-9. · 4.04 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Cross-sectional study.
(1) To assess the relationship between bladder management methods and the health-related quality of life (HRQL) in patients with spinal cord injury (SCI). (2) To identify any correlation between the two questionnaires used to assess the quality of life (one validated for SCI and one validated for bladder symptoms).
Spinal Cord Injury Centre, Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital, Middlesex, UK.
This study is based on two questionnaires with results collected from 142 people with SCI. The two questionnaires were based on information from the Short-Form 36-Item Health Survey (SF-36) and the King's Health Questionnaire and included demographic characteristics, bladder management methods and the frequency of incontinence.
There is a moderate correlation between the results of the SF-36 and the King's Health Questionnaire. Only 21% SCI patients report normal voiding without any other form of bladder management. The type of bladder management may influence the HRQL in patients with SCI. Clean intermittent catheterization by attendant, indwelling transurethral catheterization and indwelling suprapubic catheterization are the three groups with the worst mental status. In addition, the frequency of incontinence is a strong influence on HRQL.
The results of this study may provide a general baseline HRQL for patients with SCI. Our findings show the relationships between bladder management methods and quality of life in patients with SCI. In addition, the impact of incontinence on quality of life was also confirmed.