Spinal cord injury leads to a devastating cascade of secondary complications that eventually results in the formation of scar tissue many times the size of the original insult. Inflammation plays a very important role towards the development of such scar, but paradoxically, at the same time it has neuroprotective properties. Only recently have we understood enough about the relevant events to make the repair of injured spinal cords a reachable goal. Over the past decade, researchers have designed and tested numerous innovative therapeutic strategies, and many of such involve manipulation of the immune response. Interestingly, both immuno-stimulatory and immuno-suppressive interventions have shown positive results, which include the prevention of further tissue damage, prevention of secondary cell death and axonal degeneration, promotion of remyelination, stimulation of axonal regeneration, and facilitation of sensorimotor function recovery.
Keywords: Immune system, macrophage, T cells, statins, Rho, minocyclin, erythropoietin
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