Heinz Redl / Nadja Walder, Ludwig Boltzmann Institut, Vienna, Austria

Evaluation of experimental spinal cord therapy using enhanced magnetic resonance imaging

Funded in: 2011, 2012

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Spinal cord injury causes persistent symptoms through the loss of axonal connections. Compounds that stimulate axonal regrowth in animal spinal cord injury are now entering first clinical trials but up until today, there is still no non-invasive imaging method to monitor nerve growth in human. Therefore the effect of potential therapies can only be monitored by evaluating what is the functional gain (like movement or sensation) in treated patients. Since this gain can hardly be predicted beforehand, it results in numerous complications in the set up and monitoring of a clinical trial, which may be one of the reasons all trials failed so far.

This study aims to evaluate the potential of manganese enhanced magnetic resonance imaging (also called MEMRI) for the objective assessment of preservation and function of neurons in an experimentel spinal cord injury model. Furthermore the project aims to evaluate the experimental spinal cord injury therapy with rhEPO.