Assessments of sensory plasticity after spinal cord injury across species
Haefeli J, Huie JR, Morioka K, Ferguson AR
Spinal cord injury (SCI) is a multifaceted phenomenon associated with alterations in both motor function and sensory function. A majority of patients with SCI report sensory disturbances, including not only loss of sensation, but in many cases enhanced abnormal sensation, dysesthesia and pain. Development of therapeutics to treat these abnormal sensory changes require common measurement tools that can enable cross-species translation from animal models to human patients. We review the current literature on translational nociception/pain measurement in SCI and discuss areas for further development. Although a number of tools exist for measuring both segmental and affective sensory changes, we conclude that there is a pressing need for better, integrative measurement of nociception/pain outcomes across species to enhance precise therapeutic innovation for sensory dysfunction in SCI.