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Tracking changes following spinal cord injury: insights from neuroimaging


Freund, Patrick; Curt, Armin; Friston, Karl; Thompson, Alan (2013). Tracking changes following spinal cord injury: insights from neuroimaging. The Neuroscientist, 19(2):116-128.

Abstract

Traumatic spinal cord injury is often disabling and recovery of function is limited. As a consequence of damage, both spinal cord and brain undergo anatomical and functional changes. Besides clinical measures of recovery, biomarkers that can detect early anatomical and functional changes might be useful in determining clinical outcome-during the course of rehabilitation and recovery-as well as furnishing a tool to evaluate novel treatment interventions and their mechanisms of action. Recent evidence suggests an interesting three-way relationship between neurological deficit and changes in the spinal cord and of the brain and that, importantly, noninvasive magnetic resonance imaging techniques, both structural and functional, provide a sensitive tool to lay out these interactions. This review describes recent findings from multimodal imaging studies of remote anatomical changes (i.e., beyond the lesion site), cortical reorganization, and their relationship to clinical disability. These developments in this field may improve our understanding of effects on the nervous system that are attributable to the injury itself and will allow their distinction from changes that result from rehabilitation (i.e., functional retraining) and from interventions affecting the nervous system directly (i.e., neuroprotection or regeneration).

Traumatic spinal cord injury is often disabling and recovery of function is limited. As a consequence of damage, both spinal cord and brain undergo anatomical and functional changes. Besides clinical measures of recovery, biomarkers that can detect early anatomical and functional changes might be useful in determining clinical outcome-during the course of rehabilitation and recovery-as well as furnishing a tool to evaluate novel treatment interventions and their mechanisms of action. Recent evidence suggests an interesting three-way relationship between neurological deficit and changes in the spinal cord and of the brain and that, importantly, noninvasive magnetic resonance imaging techniques, both structural and functional, provide a sensitive tool to lay out these interactions. This review describes recent findings from multimodal imaging studies of remote anatomical changes (i.e., beyond the lesion site), cortical reorganization, and their relationship to clinical disability. These developments in this field may improve our understanding of effects on the nervous system that are attributable to the injury itself and will allow their distinction from changes that result from rehabilitation (i.e., functional retraining) and from interventions affecting the nervous system directly (i.e., neuroprotection or regeneration).

Citations

13 citations in Web of Science®
16 citations in Scopus®
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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:04 Faculty of Medicine > Balgrist University Hospital, Swiss Spinal Cord Injury Center
Dewey Decimal Classification:610 Medicine & health
Language:English
Date:2013
Deposited On:06 Feb 2013 16:06
Last Modified:05 Apr 2016 16:29
Publisher:SAGE Publications
ISSN:1073-8584
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1177/1073858412449192
PubMed ID:22730072

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