Spinal Cord Injury (SCI) can occur accidentally (i.e., trauma caused by motor vehicle accident, fall, gun shot, etc.) or caused by a disease (i.e., non-traumatic SCI associated with diseases such as multiple sclerosis, spinal tumor, vascular problems, etc.). In traumatic SCI, the initial injury results into spinal cord deformation, laceration, crush and persistent post-injury cord compression occurring within seconds to minutes post-accident. This leads to immediate cell death, axonal disruption, vascular and metabolic changes, which have subsequent effects or so-called secondary injury processes occurring within a few minutes to a few weeks of injury. Subsequently, within a few weeks to a few months post-trauma (chronic SCI), the patient generally experiences the development of several serious medical problems. They typically develop cardiovascular problems, type II diabetes, sarcopenia, osteoporosis, immune deficiencies and other life-threatening problems. The cellular mechanisms underlying these so-called secondary complications or comorbid problems remain unclear and no drug treatment has been developed to specifically treat these medical concerns.
Last date updated on July, 2014