Neuroimaging can predict spinal recovery

Zurich/Murnau/Denver – Researchers in the field of spinal cord injuries have used neuroimaging to diagnose a link between the occurrence of tissue bridges and the healing process. The findings could form the basis for new therapies.

Researchers from Balgrist University Hospital, the University of Zurich, the BG Trauma Center Murnau and Craig Hospital Denver have shown in a cohort study that the size of tissue bridges in cervical spinal cord injuries plays a decisive role in the subsequent healing process. The study was based on neuroimaging measurements derived from magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), which showed the extent of the spinal cord injury (SCI), according to a press release from Balgrist University Hospital.

The uninjured nerve tissue, known as tissue bridges, is also recorded during the measurements. The study, published in the journal "The Lancet Neurology", shows that the results obtained are independent of demographic and clinical differences. Therefore, the tissue bridges measured with neuroimaging can be used as predictive variables for subsequent therapies.

"Our models and results can be transferred to other patient cohorts and are valid for all SCI centers, MRI scanners and people who perform and assess the measurements," says Dario Pfyffer, first author of the study, about the applicability of the study results. "Accurately predicting outcomes is of the utmost importance for patients, the therapists and doctors treating them." ce/ww

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