A new model for predicting recovery after spinal cord injury

©2012 Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., publishers

For more than 1 million people in the U.S. living with spinal cord injury, the frightening days and weeks following the injury are filled with uncertainty about their potential for recovery and future independence. A new model based on motor scores at admission and early imaging studies may allow clinicians to predict functional outcomes and guide decision-making for therapy and care-giving needs, as described in an article published in Journal of Neurotrauma, a peer-reviewed journal from Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., publishers.

The novel prediction model, which combines acute functional measures and evidence of injury on (MRI) including swelling and bleeding around the spinal cord, and which was drawn from two large clinical datasets, could help guide treatment decisions, classification of patents for clinical trials, and counseling of patients and families.

Jefferson Wilson, MD, Michael Fehlings, MD, PhD, from University of Toronto and Toronto Western Hospital, Canada, and colleagues from the U.S. describe the prediction model and its potential applications in the article "A Clinical for Long-Term Functional Outcome after Traumatic Spinal Cord Injury Based on Acute Clinical and Imaging Factors."

"An important goal of medical research is to identify early surrogate markers that could assist treating physicians in determining appropriate therapeutic strategies," says W. Dalton Dietrich, III, PhD, The Miami Project to Cure Paralysis, University of Miami, FL, and Deputy Editor of the Journal. "This article provides important information that could help predict the potential for recovery after SCI and thereby direct treatment options."

More information: The article is available free on the Journal of Neurotrauma website at http://www.liebertpub.com/neu.

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