Recommendation 3.2: Improve and Standardize Research Tools and Assessment Techniques

Preclinical research tools and animal models should be developed and refined to examine spinal cord injury progression and repair and assess the effectiveness of therapeutic interventions. These preclinical tools and assessment protocols should be standardized for each type and each stage of spinal cord injury. Particular emphasis should be placed on:

  • improving imaging technologies to allow real-time assessment of the current state and progression of the injury;

  • identifying biomarkers that can be used to monitor the progression of the injury and recovery;

  • developing additional animal models to explore the progression of spinal cord injury and repair;

  • establishing standardized sets of functional outcome measures for the evaluation of experimental therapies for each type and each stage of spinal cord injury in animal models; and

  • enhancing functional assessment techniques to examine motor function as well as secondary complications, including pain and depression of the immune system.

REFERENCES

AANS (American Association of Neurological Surgeons). 1999. Spinal Cord. [Online]. Available: http://www.neurosurgerytoday.org/what/patient_e/spinal.asp [accessed January 25, 2005].

AANS/CNS (American Association of Neurological Surgeons/Congress of Neurological Surgeons). 2002. Radiographic assessment of the cervical spine in symptomatic trauma patients. Neurosurgery 50(3 Suppl): S36-43.


Bareyre FM, Schwab ME. 2003. Inflammation, degeneration and regeneration in the injured spinal cord: Insights from DNA microarrays. Trends in Neurosciences 26(10): 555-563.

Bareyre FM, Haudenschild B, Schwab ME. 2002. Long-lasting sprouting and gene expression changes induced by the monoclonal antibody IN-1 in the adult spinal cord. Journal of Neuroscience 22(16): 7097-7110.

Basso DM, Beattie MS, Bresnahan JC. 1995. A sensitive and reliable locomotor rating scale for open field testing in rats. Journal of Neurotrauma 12(1): 1-21.

Blasberg RG, Gelovani J. 2002. Molecular-genetic imaging: A nuclear medicine-based perspective. Molecular Imaging: Official Journal of the Society for Molecular Imaging 1(3): 280-300.

Bradbury EJ, Moon LD, Popat RJ, King VR, Bennett GS, Patel PN, Fawcett JW, McMahon SB. 2002. Chondroitinase ABC promotes functional recovery after spinal cord injury. Nature 416(6881): 636-640.

Bregman BS, McAtee M, Dai HN, Kuhn PL. 1997. Neurotrophic factors increase axonal growth after spinal cord injury and transplantation in the adult rat. Experimental Neurology 148(2): 475-494.



The National Academies | 500 Fifth St. N.W. | Washington, D.C. 20001
Copyright © National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved.
Terms of Use and Privacy Statement