Therapies for spinal cord injury: On the cutting edge of clinical translation

August 31, 2012

Charlottesville, VA (August 31, 2012). The Journal of Neurosurgery (JNS) Publishing Group is proud to announce publication of the NACTN/AOSNA Focus Issue on Spinal Cord Injury, a supplement to the September issue of the Journal of Neurosurgery: Spine, which is sponsored by AOSpine North America available in print and online. The online version of the supplement is available free to the public. The focus of this special supplement, which was spearheaded by Dr. Michael Fehlings, Professor of Neurosurgery at the University of Toronto and Medical Director of the Krembil Neuroscience Centre at the Toronto Western Hospital, is the development of cutting-edge translational research in the treatment of spinal cord injury (SCI), an often devastating injury that affects 2.5 million people worldwide, many of whom are first faced with it in early adulthood. The topic is addressed in a variety of forms in 17 articles and several editorials.

Many of the studies were conducted by members of the North American Clinical Trials Network (NACTN) for the Treatment of SCI, a consortium of 10 neurosurgery departments supplemented by a data management center and a pharmacological center. The principal investigator for the NACTN is Dr. Robert Grossman, Chairman, Department of Neurosurgery, The Methodist Hospital, Houston. Funded by the Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation and the US Department of Defense, the NACTN was established to move molecular- and cell-based discoveries in the protection and regeneration of neuronal pathways from the laboratory to the clinical setting.

The supplement brings together papers focused on a variety of subjects related to identifying and evaluating different types of SCI, as well as developing therapeutic strategies for dealing with the disabilities that attend the injury. Graded assessments used to define the scope and extent of injury are presented and reviewed. Clinical and imaging predictors of neurological and functional outcomes, complications, and survival after SCI are identified and assessed. Original clinical studies and review articles on current and potential drug-based therapies are presented. Issues surrounding quality of life in patients with SCI are addressed. The cost-effectiveness of surgery in injured patients is examined and validated. Finally, the goals and progress of the NACTN in the transition of therapeutic strategies from preclinical to clinical settings are described.

Some interesting papers include the following:Spinal cord injuries arise from a two-fold assault. First, there is the initial mechanical injury to the spinal cord, which kills neural cells in the immediate vicinity of the injury and breaks neuronal pathways between the brain and other parts of the body. Second, there is a cascade of new biochemical, cellular, and vascular events that damage axons and lead to the death of previously uninjured neural cells, expanding the area of injury and leading to further neurological compromise. This special supplement to the Journal of Neurosurgery: Spine offers a unique look into current research involving the diagnosis, assessment, and treatment of patients with SCI.
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NACTN/AOSNA Focus Issue on Spinal Cord Injury, supplement to the Journal of Neurosurgery: Spine, Volume 17, published September 1, 2012, in print and online.

Disclosure: AOSpine North America sponsored publication of this supplement to the Journal of Neurosurgery: Spine. Funding for studies described in the supplement was provided by the Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation and the US Department of Defense among other organizations. Sponsors of individual studies are listed with each article.

For additional information, please contact:

Ms. Gillian Shasby, Director of Publications-Operations
Journal of Neurosurgery Publishing Group
One Morton Drive, Suite 200
Charlottesville, VA 22903
Email: gshasby@thejns.org
Telephone 434-924-5555
Fax 434-924-5782

The Journal of Neurosurgery: Spine is a monthly peer-reviewed journal focused on neurosurgical approaches to treatment of diseases and disorders of the spine. It contains a variety of articles, including descriptions of preclinical and clinical research as well as case reports and technical notes. The Journal of Neurosurgery: Spine is one of four monthly journals published by the JNS Publishing Group, the scholarly journal division of the American Association of Neurological Surgeons, an association dedicated to advancing the specialty of neurological surgery in order to promote the highest quality of patient care. The Journal of Neurosurgery: Spine appears in print and on the Internet.

Journal of Neurosurgery Publishing Group

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