In the hours and days following a spinal cord injury, the gears that control the body’s internal clocks fall profoundly out of sync, impacting body temperature, hormone fluctuation, immunity and the timing of a host of other bodily processes, according to new CU Boulder research.
The study, funded by the U.S. Department of Defense and published Monday in the journal eNeuro, is among the first to comprehensively assess how spinal injury impacts circadian rhythms, or the 24-hour-cycles of physiological processes. If replicated in humans, the findings could lead to new “chronotherapies” to reset off-kilter clocks and potentially improve long-term recovery.
A trauma to the spinal cord, quickly leads to a progressive loss of nerve tissue. This not only affects the injured area, but over time affects also other parts of the spinal cord and even the brain. These neurodegenerative changes can be explored in detail using magnetic resonance imaging. An international team of researchers headed up by Patrick Freund from the Spinal Cord Injury Center of the University of Zurich and the Balgrist University Hospital has now for the first time investigated the extent and progression of microstructural changes over the first two years after a spinal cord injury.
Lengthy study finds that implanted neural stem cells grow slow and steady, and success needs to be measured accordingly
More than one-and-a-half years after implantation, researchers at University of California San Diego School of Medicine and the San Diego Veterans Administration Medical Center report that human neural stem cells (NSCs) grafted into spinal cord injuries in laboratory rats displayed continued growth and maturity, with functional recovery beginning one year after grafting.
Study design: Retrospective study.
Objectives: To model the effect of time since injury on longitudinal respiratory function measures in spinal cord injured-individuals and to investigate the effect of patient characteristics.
Setting: A total of 173 people who sustained a spinal cord injury between 1966 and April 2013 and who had previously participated in research or who underwent clinically indicated outpatient respiratory function tests at the Austin Hospital in Melbourne, Australia, were included in the study. At least two measurements over time were available for analysis in 59 patients.