Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 560

Search results for: spinal cord injuries

560 Rehabilitative Walking: The Development of a Robotic Walking Training Device Using Functional Electrical Stimulation for Treating Spinal Cord Injuries and Lower-Limb Paralysis

Authors: Chung Hyun Goh, Armin Yazdanshenas, X. Neil Dong, Yong Tai Wang


Physical rehabilitation is a necessary step in regaining lower body function after a partial paralysis caused by a spinal cord injury or a stroke. The purpose of this paper is to present the development and optimization of a training device that accurately recreates the motions in a gait cycle with the goal of rehabilitation for individuals with incomplete spinal cord injuries or who are victims of a stroke. A functional electrical stimulator was used in conjunction with the training device to stimulate muscle groups pertaining to rehabilitative walking. The feasibility and reliability of the design are presented. To validate the design functionality, motion analyses of the knee and ankle gait paths were made using motion capture systems. Key results indicate that the robotic walking training device provides a viable mode of physical rehabilitation.

Keywords: functional electrical stimulation, rehabilitative walking, robotic walking training device, spinal cord injuries

Procedia PDF Downloads 65
559 Factors Contributing to the Risk and Vulnerability to HIV Infection among Individuals with Spinal Cord Injuries (SCI) in South Africa

Authors: J. J. Lloyd, J. S. Phillips


Background: HIV/AIDS has made a huge impact on human development and sexual reproductive habits in this century in the world and especially in sub-Saharan Africa. It has only recently been acknowledged that HIV/AIDS has an equal if not greater effect on or threat to people with disabilities. Survivors of traumatic spinal cord injury (SCI) with resultant disability are incorrectly believed to be sexually inactive, unlikely to use drugs or alcohol and at less risk of violence or rape than their non-disabled peers. This group can thus be described as economically, educationally and socially disadvantaged, which in itself, suggest that they are a high-risk group for HIV infection. Objectives: Thus, the overall objective of this study was to assess the factors that exacerbate the risk and vulnerability of individuals with spinal cord injuries to HIV infection in order to develop a more effective HIV intervention. Methodology: This paper reports on the cross-sectional data gathered from individuals with a traumatic spinal cord injury in 4 conveniently selected provinces in South Africa. Data was collected by means of self-administered questionnaires. The questionnaire consisted of various sections requesting for information on Demographics; HIV-Knowledge (HIV- KQ-18); Sexual behaviours; sexual communication, and negotiation skills and Self-efficacy to refuse sex. Results: The majority of the study sample was males (72.7%) with a mean age of 34.6 years. The majority reported lifetime sexual intercourse (92.4%) but only 31.8% reported condom use with last sexual intercourse. Low level of HIV knowledge, and being male were the strongest predictor of risky sexual behaviours in this sample. Conclusion: Significant numbers of individuals with spinal cord injuries are thus engaging in risky sexual behaviours pointing to a need to strengthen comprehensive sexual health education to increase access to HIV testing, promote safe sex and condom use among this group.

Keywords: Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV), individuals with spinal cord injuries, risky sexual behaviours, HIV risk factors, sub-saharan Africa

Procedia PDF Downloads 359
558 A Brain Controlled Robotic Gait Trainer for Neurorehabilitation

Authors: Qazi Umer Jamil, Abubakr Siddique, Mubeen Ur Rehman, Nida Aziz, Mohsin I. Tiwana


This paper discusses a brain controlled robotic gait trainer for neurorehabilitation of Spinal Cord Injury (SCI) patients. Patients suffering from Spinal Cord Injuries (SCI) become unable to execute motion control of their lower proximities due to degeneration of spinal cord neurons. The presented approach can help SCI patients in neuro-rehabilitation training by directly translating patient motor imagery into walkers motion commands and thus bypassing spinal cord neurons completely. A non-invasive EEG based brain-computer interface is used for capturing patient neural activity. For signal processing and classification, an open source software (OpenVibe) is used. Classifiers categorize the patient motor imagery (MI) into a specific set of commands that are further translated into walker motion commands. The robotic walker also employs fall detection for ensuring safety of patient during gait training and can act as a support for SCI patients. The gait trainer is tested with subjects, and satisfactory results were achieved.

Keywords: brain computer interface (BCI), gait trainer, spinal cord injury (SCI), neurorehabilitation

Procedia PDF Downloads 75
557 A Forearm-Wrist Rehabilitation Module for Stroke and Spinal Cord Injuries

Authors: Vahid Mehrabi, Iman Sharifi, H. A. Talebi


The automation of rehabilitation procedure by the implementation of robotic devices can overcome the limitation in conventional physiotherapy methods by increasing training sessions and duration of process. In this paper, the design of a simple rehabilitation robot for forearm-wrist therapy in stroke and spinal cord injuries is presented. Wrist’s biological joint motion is modeled by a gimbal-like mechanism which resembles the human arm anatomy. Presented device is an exoskeleton robot with rotation axes corresponding to human skeleton anatomy. The mechanical structure, actuator and sensor selection, system kinematics and comparison between our device range of motion and required active daily life values is illustrated.

Keywords: rehabilitation, robotic devices, physiotherapy, forearm-wrist

Procedia PDF Downloads 191
556 Utility of Thromboelastography to Reduce Coagulation-Related Mortality and Blood Component Rate in Neurosurgery ICU

Authors: Renu Saini, Deepak Agrawal


Background: Patients with head and spinal cord injury frequently have deranged coagulation profiles and require blood products transfusion perioperatively. Thromboelastography (TEG) is a ‘bedside’ global test of coagulation which may have role in deciding the need of transfusion in such patients. Aim: To assess the usefulness of TEG in department of neurosurgery in decreasing transfusion rates and coagulation-related mortality in traumatic head and spinal cord injury. Method and Methodology: A retrospective comparative study was carried out in the department of neurosurgery over a period of 1 year. There are two groups in this study. ‘Control’ group constitutes the patients in whom data was collected over 6 months (1/6/2009-31/12/2009) prior to installation of TEG machine. ‘Test’ group includes patients in whom data was collected over 6months (1/1/2013-30/6/2013) post TEG installation. Total no. of platelet, FFP, and cryoprecipitate transfusions were noted in both groups along with in hospital mortality and length of stay. Result: Both groups were matched in age and sex of patients, number of head and spinal cord injury cases, number of patients with thrombocytopenia and number of patients who underwent operation. Total 178 patients (135 head injury and 43 spinal cord injury patents) were admitted in neurosurgery department during time period June 2009 to December 2009 i.e. prior to TEG installation and after TEG installation a total of 243 patients(197 head injury and 46 spinal cord injury patents) were admitted. After TEG introduction platelet transfusion significantly reduced (p=0.000) compare to control group (67 units to 34 units). Mortality rate was found significantly reduced after installation (77 patients to 57 patients, P=0.000). Length of stay was reduced significantly (Prior installation 1-211days and after installation 1-115days, p=0.02). Conclusion: Bedside TEG can dramatically reduce platelet transfusion components requirement in department of neurosurgery. TEG also lead to a drastic decrease in mortality rate and length of stay in patients with traumatic head and spinal cord injuries. We recommend its use as a standard of care in the patients with traumatic head and spinal cord injuries.

Keywords: blood component transfusion, mortality, neurosurgery ICU, thromboelastography

Procedia PDF Downloads 263
555 Non-linear Analysis of Spontaneous EEG After Spinal Cord Injury: An Experimental Study

Authors: Jiangbo Pu, Hanhui Xu, Yazhou Wang, Hongyan Cui, Yong Hu


Spinal cord injury (SCI) brings great negative influence to the patients and society. Neurological loss in human after SCI is a major challenge in clinical. Instead, neural regeneration could have been seen in animals after SCI, and such regeneration could be retarded by blocking neural plasticity pathways, showing the importance of neural plasticity in functional recovery. Here we used sample entropy as an indicator of nonlinear dynamical in the brain to quantify plasticity changes in spontaneous EEG recordings of rats before and after SCI. The results showed that the entropy values were increased after the injury during the recovery in one week. The increasing tendency of sample entropy values is consistent with that of behavioral evaluation scores. It is indicated the potential application of sample entropy analysis for the evaluation of neural plasticity in spinal cord injury rat model.

Keywords: spinal cord injury (SCI), sample entropy, nonlinear, complex system, firing pattern, EEG, spontaneous activity, Basso Beattie Bresnahan (BBB) score

Procedia PDF Downloads 392
554 Seasonal Variation in 25(OH)D Concentration and Sprint Performance in Elite Athletes with a Spinal Cord Injury

Authors: Robert C. Pritchett, Elizabeth Broad, Kelly L. Pritchett


Individuals a with spinal cord injuries have been suggested to be at risk for a 25(OH)D insufficiency. However, little is known regarding the relationship between seasonal Vitamin D status and performance in a spinally injured athletic population. Purpose: The purpose of this study was: 1) to examine the seasonal change in 25(OH)D concentrations and 2) to determine whether 25(OH)D status impacts athletic performance in US Paralympic athletes. Methods: 25 (OH)D concentrations were measured in 11 outdoor track athletes ( 5 men/6 females), between fall (October/November) and winter(February). Dietary intake and lifestyle habits were assessed via questionnaire, and performance measurements were assessed using a 20meter sprint test. 25(OH)D concentrations were assessed using a blood spot method (ZRT Laboratory). Results: There was no significant change in 25 (OH) D concentrations across seasons (P=0.505; 31 + 6.35 ng/mL, 29 + 8.72 ng/mL (mean + SD) for Fall and Winter, respectively. In the Fall,42% of the athletes had sufficient levels (>32ng/mL), and 58% were insufficient. (20ng/mL -31ng/mL) where as the winter levels dropped with 33% being sufficient and 58% being insufficient and 1% being deficient (<20ng/mL). There was a weak but significant correlation between a change in 25(OH)D concentrations, and change in 20m sprint time (p<0.05; r=0.408). Conclusion: A substantial proportion of elite athletes with an SCI have low vitamin D status. However, results suggest there was little seasonal variation in 25(OH)D status in elite track athletes with an SCI. Furthermore, any change that was observed demonstrated a very weak relationship with a change in performance.

Keywords: 25(oh)d, performance, spinal cord injuries, elite, sprint, concentration

Procedia PDF Downloads 494
553 Relationship between Pain, Social Support and Socio-Economic Indicators in Individuals with Spinal Cord Injury

Authors: Zahra Khazaeipour, Ehsan Ahmadipour, Vafa Rahimi-Movaghar, Fereshteh Ahmadipour


Research Objectives: Chronic pain is one of the common problems associated with spinal cord injuries (SCI), which causes many complications. Therefore, this study intended to evaluate the relationship between pain and demographic, injury characteristics, socio-economic and social support in individuals with spinal cord Injury in Iran. Design: Descriptive cross-sectional study. Setting: Brain and Spinal Cord Injury Research Center (BASIR), Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran, between 2012 and 2013. Participants: The participants were 140 individuals with SCI, 101 (72%) men and 39 (28%) women, with mean age of 29.4 ±7.9 years. Main Outcome Measure: The Persian version of the Brief Pain Inventory (BPI) was used to measure the pain, and the Multidimensional Scale of Perceived Social Support (MSPSS) was used to measure social support. Results: About 50.7% complained about having pain, which 79.3% had bilateral pain. The most common locations of pain were lower limbs and back. The most quality of pain was described as aching (41.4%), and tingling (32.9%). Patients with a medium level of education had the least pain compared to high and low level of education. SCI individuals with good economic situation reported higher frequency of having pain. There was no significant relationship between pain and social support. There was positive correlation between pain and impairment of mood, normal work, relations with other people and lack of sleep (P < 0.001). Conclusion: These findings revealed the importance of socioeconomic factors such as economic situation and educational level in understanding chronic pain in people with SCI and provide further support for the bio-psychosocial model. Hence, multidisciplinary evaluations and treatment strategies are advocated, including biomedical, psychological, and psycho-social interventions.

Keywords: pain, social support, socio-economic indicators, spinal cord injury

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552 Health-Related QOL of Motorists with Spinal Cord Injury in Japan

Authors: Hiroaki Hirose, Hiroshi Ikeda, Isao Takeda


The Japanese version of the SF-36 has been employed to assess individuals’ health-related QOL (HRQOL). This study aimed to clarify the HRQOL of motorists with a spinal cord injury, in order to compare these individuals' SF-36 scores and national standard values. A total of 100 motorists with a spinal cord injury participated in this study. Participants’ HRQOL was evaluated using the Japanese version of the SF-36 (second edition). The score for each subscale was standardized based on data on the Japanese population. The average scores for NPF, NRP, NBP, NGH, NVT, NSF, NRE, and NMH were 10.9, 41.8, 45.9, 47.1, 46.1, 46.7, 46.0, and 47.4 points, respectively. Subjects showed significantly lower scores for NPF and NRP compared with national standard values, which were both ≤ 45.0 points, but relatively normal scores for the other items: NBP, NGH, NVT, NSF, NRE and NMH (> 45.0 points). The average scores for PCS, MCS and RCS were 21.9, 56.0, and 50.0 points, respectively. Subjects showed a significantly lower PCS score (≤ 20.0 points); however, the MCS score was higher (> 55.0 points) along with a relatively normal RCS score in these individuals (= 50.0 points).

Keywords: health-related QOL, HRQOL, SF-36, motorist, spinal cord injury, Japan

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551 Outcome of Bowel Management Program in Patient with Spinal Cord Injury

Authors: Roongtiwa Chobchuen, Angkana Srikhan, Pattra Wattanapan


Background: Neurogenic bowel is common condition after spinal cord injury. Most of spinal cord injured patients have motor weakness, mobility impairment which leads to constipation. Moreover, the neural pathway involving bowel function is interrupted. Therefore, the bowel management program should be implemented in nursing care in the earliest time after the onset of the disease to prevent the morbidity and mortality. Objective: To study the outcome of bowel management program of the patients with spinal cord injury who admitted for rehabilitation program. Study design: Descriptive study. Setting: Rehabilitation ward in Srinagarind Hospital. Populations: patients with subacute to chronic spinal cord injury who admitted at rehabilitation ward, Srinagarind hospital, aged over 18 years old. Instrument: The neurogenic bowel dysfunction score (NBDS) was used to determine the severity of neurogenic bowel. Procedure and statistical analysis: All participants were asked to complete the demographic data; age gender, duration of disease, diagnosis. The individual bowel function was assessed using NBDS at admission. The patients and caregivers were trained by nurses about the bowel management program which consisted of diet modification, abdominal massage, digital stimulation, stool evacuation including medication and physical activity. The outcome of the bowel management program was assessed by NBDS at discharge. The chi-square test was used to detect the difference in severity of neurogenic bowel at admission and discharge. Results: Sixteen spinal cord injured patients were enrolled in the study (age 45 ± 17 years old, 69% were male). Most of them (50%) were tetraplegia. On the admission, 12.5%, 12.5%, 43.75% and 31.25% were categorized as very minor (NBDS 0-6), minor (NBDS 7-9), moderate (NBDS 10-13) and severe (NBDS 14+) respectively. The severity of neurogenic bowel was decreased significantly at discharge (56.25%, 18.755%, 18.75% and 6.25% for very minor, minor, moderate and severe group respectively; p < 0.001) compared with NBDS at admission. Conclusions: Implementation of the effective bowel program decrease the severity of the neurogenic bowel in patient with spinal cord injury.

Keywords: neurogenic bowel, NBDS, spinal cord injury, bowel program

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550 Assessment of Sex Differences in Serum Urea and Creatinine Level in Response to Spinal Cord Injury Using Albino Rat Models

Authors: Waziri B. I., Elkhashab M. M.


Background: One of the most serious consequences of spinal cord injury (SCI) is progressive deterioration of renal function mostly as a result of urine stasis and ascending infection of the paralyzed bladder. This necessitates for investigation of early changes in serum urea and creatinine and associated sex related differences in response to SCI. Methods: A total of 24 adult albino rats weighing above 150g were divided equally into two groups, a control and experimental group (n = 12) each containing an equal number of male and female rats. The experimental group animals were paralyzed by complete transection of spinal cord below T4 level after deep anesthesia with ketamine 75mg/kg. Blood samples were collected from both groups five days post SCI for analysis. Mean values of serum urea (mmol/L) and creatinine (µmol/L) for both groups were compared. P < 0.05 was considered as significant. Results: The results showed significantly higher levels (P < 0.05) of serum urea and creatinine in the male SCI models with mean values of 92.12 ± 0.98 and 2573 ± 70.97 respectively compared with their controls where the mean values for serum urea and creatinine were 6.31 ± 1.48 and 476. 95 ± 4.67 respectively. In the female SCI models, serum urea 13.11 ± 0.81 and creatinine 519.88 ± 31.13 were not significantly different from that of female controls with serum urea and creatinine levels of 11.71 ± 1.43 and 493.69 ± 17.10 respectively (P > 0.05). Conclusion: Spinal cord injury caused a significant increase in serum Urea and Creatinine levels in the male models compared to the females. This indicated that males might have higher risk of renal dysfunction following SCI.

Keywords: albino rats, creatinine, spinal cord injury (SCI), urea

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549 Nutrition Intervention for Spinal Cord Injury in Critical Care

Authors: Dina Muharib


Specific metabolic challenges are present following spinal cord injury. The acute stage is characterized by a reduction in metabolic activity, as well as a negative nitrogen balance that cannot be corrected, even with aggressive nutritional support. Metabolic demands need to be accurately monitored to avoid overfeeding. Enteral feeding is the optimal route following SCI. When oral feeding is not possible, nasogastric, followed by nasojejunal, then by percutaneous endoscopic gastrostomy, if necessary, is suggested.

Keywords: SCI, energy, protein, nutrition assessment, eneral feeding, nitrogen balance

Procedia PDF Downloads 245
548 Holistic Approach Illustrating the Use of Complementary and Alternative Medicine in Pain and Stress Management for Spinal Cord Injury

Authors: Priyanka Kalra


Background: Complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) includes various practices like Ayurveda, Yoga & Meditation Acupressure Acupuncture and Reiki. These practices are frequently used by patients with spinal cord injury (SCI). They have shown effectiveness in the management of pain and stress consequently improving overall quality of life post injury. Objective: The goals of the present case series were to evaluate the feasibility of 1) Using of Ayurvedic herbal oil massages in shoulder pain management, 2) Using yoga & meditation on managing the stress in spinal cord injury. Methodology: 15 SCI cases with muscular pain around shoulder were treated with Ayurvedic herbal oil massage for 10 days in CAM Department. Each session consisted of 30 min oil massage followed by 10 min hot towel fomentation. The patients continued regular therapy medications along with CAM. Another 15 SCI cases were treated with yoga and meditation for 15 days 30 min yoga (20 min Asana+ 10 min Pranayam + 15 min Meditation) in isolated yoga room of CAM department. Results: On the VAS scale the patients reported a reduction in their pain score by 70 %. On the PSS scale, the patients reported a reduction in their stress score by 80 %. Conclusion: These case series may encourage more people to explore CAM therapies.

Keywords: spinal cord injury, Ayurveda, complementary and alternative medicine, yoga, meditation

Procedia PDF Downloads 226
547 A Literature Review on Bladder Management in Individuals with Spinal Cord Injury

Authors: Elif Ates, Naile Bilgili


Background: One of the most important medical complications that individuals with spinal cord injury (SCI) face are the neurogenic bladder. Objectives: To review methods used for management of neurogenic bladder and their effects. Methods: The study was conducted by searching CINAHL, Ebscohost, MEDLINE, Science Direct, Ovid, ProQuest, Web of Science, and ULAKBİM National Databases for studies published between 2005 and 2015. Key words used during the search included ‘spinal cord injury’, ‘bladder injury’, ‘nursing care’, ‘catheterization’ and ‘intermittent urinary catheter’. After examination of 551 studies, 21 studies which met inclusion criteria were included in the review. Results: Mean age of individuals in all study samples was 42 years. The most commonly used bladder management method was clean intermittent catheterization (CIC). Compliance with CIC was found to be significantly related to spasticity, maximum cystometric capacity, and the person performing catheterization (p < .05). The main reason for changing the existing bladder management method was urinary tract infections (UTI). Individuals who performed CIC by themselves and who voided spontaneously had better life quality. Patient age, occupation status and whether they performed CIC by themselves or not were found to be significantly associated with depression level (p ≤ .05). Conclusion: As the most commonly used method for bladder management, CIC is a reliable and effective method, and reduces the risk of UTI development. Individuals with neurogenic bladder have a higher prevalence of depression symptoms than the normal population.

Keywords: bladder management, catheterization, nursing, spinal cord injury

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546 Traumatic Spinal Cord Injury in King Fahd Medical City: An Epidemiological Study

Authors: Saeed Alshahri


Introduction: Our study aims to estimate the characteristics & causes of TSCI at King Fahad Medical City (KFMC) in Riyadh city in order to hypothesize strategy for primary prevention of traumatic spinal cord injury. Method: Cross-sectional, retrospective study was conducted on all TSCI patients who aged 14 and above and who were admitted to rehabilitation center of King Fahad Medical City from January 2012 to December 2015. Furthermore, a descriptive analysis was conducted while considering factors including age, gender, marital status, educational level and causes of injury and characteristics of injury. Results: Total of 216 patients were admitted during this period, mean age was 28.94, majority of patients were male (86.5%), 71.7% of total patients were high school level of education or less, 68% were single, RTA was the main cause with 90.7% and the main result of TSCI was complete paraplegia 37%. Furthermore, statistically, we found that males are at a low risk of having incomplete paraplegia compared to female (p = 0.035, RRR=0.35). Conclusion: The rate of TSCI related to RTA has increased in Saudi Arabia in previous years despite the government’s efforts to decrease RTA. It’s clear that we need TSCI registry data developed on the basis of international data standards to have a clear idea about the exact etiology of TSCI in Saudi Arabia. This will assist in planning for primary prevention.

Keywords: traumatic spinal cord injury, road traffic accident, Saudi Arabia, spinal cord injury

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545 Synthesis and Two-Photon Polymerization of a Cytocompatibility Tyramine Functionalized Hyaluronic Acid Hydrogel That Mimics the Chemical, Mechanical, and Structural Characteristics of Spinal Cord Tissue

Authors: James Britton, Vijaya Krishna, Manus Biggs, Abhay Pandit


Regeneration of the spinal cord after injury remains a great challenge due to the complexity of this organ. Inflammation and gliosis at the injury site hinder the outgrowth of axons and hence prevent synaptic reconnection and reinnervation. Hyaluronic acid (HA) is the main component of the spinal cord extracellular matrix and plays a vital role in cell proliferation and axonal guidance. In this study, we have synthesized and characterized a photo-cross-linkable HA-tyramine (tyr) hydrogel from a chemical, mechanical, electrical, biological and structural perspective. From our experimentation, we have found that HA-tyr can be synthesized with controllable degrees of tyramine substitution using click chemistry. The complex modulus (G*) of HA-tyr can be tuned to mimic the mechanical properties of the native spinal cord via optimization of the photo-initiator concentration and UV exposure. We have examined the degree of tyramine-tyramine covalent bonding (polymerization) as a function of UV exposure and photo-initiator use via Photo and Nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy. Both swelling and enzymatic degradation assays were conducted to examine the resilience of our 3D printed hydrogel constructs in-vitro. Using a femtosecond 780nm laser, the two-photon polymerization of HA-tyr hydrogel in the presence of riboflavin photoinitiator was optimized. A laser power of 50mW and scan speed of 30,000 μm/s produced high-resolution spatial patterning within the hydrogel with sustained mechanical integrity. Using dorsal root ganglion explants, the cytocompatibility of photo-crosslinked HA-tyr was assessed. Using potentiometry, the electrical conductivity of photo-crosslinked HA-tyr was assessed and compared to that of native spinal cord tissue as a function of frequency. In conclusion, we have developed a biocompatible hydrogel that can be used for photolithographic 3D printing to fabricate tissue engineered constructs for neural tissue regeneration applications.

Keywords: 3D printing, hyaluronic acid, photolithography, spinal cord injury

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544 Personalized Tissues and Organs Replacement – a Peek into the Future

Authors: Asaf Toker


Matricelf developed a technology that enables the production of autologous engineered tissue composed of matrix and cells derived from patients Omentum biopsy. The platform showed remarkable pre-clinical results for several medical conditions. The company recently licensed the technology that enabled scientist at Tel Aviv university that 3D printed a human heart from human cells and matrix for the first time in human history. The company plans to conduct its first human clinical trial for Acute Spinal Cord Injury (SCI) early in 2023.

Keywords: tissue engineering, regenerative medicine, spinal Cord Injury, autologous implants, iPSC

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543 Evaluation of Traumatic Spine by Magnetic Resonance Imaging

Authors: Sarita Magu, Deepak Singh


Study Design: This prospective study was conducted at the department of Radio Diagnosis, at Pt B.D. Sharma PGIMS, Rohtak in 57 patients of spine injury on radiographs or radiographically normal patients with neurological deficits presenting within 72 hours of injury. Aims: Evaluation of the role of Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) in Spinal Trauma Patients and to compare MRI findings with clinical profile and neurological status of the patient and to correlate the MRI findings with neurological recovery of the patient and predict the outcome. Material and Methods: Neurological status of patients was assessed at the time of admission and discharge in all the patients and at long term interval of six months to one year in 27 patients as per American spine injury association classification (ASIA). On MRI cord injury was categorized into cord hemorrhage, cord contusion, cord edema only, and normal cord. Quantitative assessment of injury on MRI was done using mean canal compromise (MCC), mean spinal cord compression (MSCC) and lesion length. Neurological status at admission and neurological recovery at discharge and long term follow up was compared with various qualitative cord findings and quantitative parameters on MRI. Results: Cord edema and normal cord was associated with favorable neurological outcome. Cord contusion show lesser neurological recovery as compared to cord edema. Cord hemorrhage was associated with worst neurological status at admission and poor neurological recovery. Mean MCC, MSCC, and lesion length values were higher in patients presenting with ASIA A grade injury and showed decreasing trends towards ASIA E grade injury. Patients showing neurological recovery over the period of hospital stay and long term follow up had lower mean MCC, MSCC, and lesion length as compared to patients showing no neurological recovery. The data was statistically significant with p value <.05. Conclusion: Cord hemorrhage and higher MCC, MSCC and lesion length has poor prognostic value in spine injury patients.

Keywords: spine injury, cord hemorrhage, cord contusion, MCC, MSCC, lesion length, ASIA grading

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542 Microglia Activity and Induction of Mechanical Allodynia after Mincle Receptor Ligand Injection in Rat Spinal Cord

Authors: Jihoon Yang, Jeong II Choi


Mincle is expressed in macrophages and is members of immunoreceptors induced after exposure to various stimuli and stresses. Mincle receptor activation promotes the production of these substances by increasing the transcription of inflammatory cytokines and chemokines. Cytokines, which play an important role in the initiation and maintenance of such inflammatory pain diseases, have a significant effect on sensory neurons in addition to their enhancement and inhibitory effects on immune and inflammatory cells as mediators of cell interaction. Glial cells in the central nervous system play a critical role in development and maintenance of chronic pain states. Microglia are tissue-resident macrophages in the central nervous system, and belong to a group of mononuclear phagocytes. In the central nervous system, mincle receptor is present in neurons and glial cells of the brain.This study was performed to identify the Mincle receptor in the spinal cord and to investigate the effect of Mincle receptor activation on nociception and the changes of microglia. Materials and Methods: C-type lectins(Mincle) was identified in spinal cord of Male Sprague–Dawley rats. Then, mincle receptor ligand (TDB), via an intrathecal catheter. Mechanical allodynia was measured using von Frey test to evaluate the effect of intrathecal injection of TDB. Result: The present investigation shows that the intrathecal administration of TDB in the rat produces a reliable and quantifiable mechanical hyperalgesia. In addition, The mechanical hyperalgesia after TDB injection gradually developed over time and remained until 10 days. Mincle receptor is identified in the spinal cord, mainly expressed in neuronal cells, but not in microglia or astrocyte. These results suggest that activation of mincle receptor pathway in neurons plays an important role in inducing activation of microglia and inducing mechanical allodynia.

Keywords: mincle, spinal cord, pain, microglia

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541 Traumatic Spinal Cord Injury; Incidence, Prognosis and the Time-Course of Clinical Outcomes: A 12 Year Review from a Tertiary Hospital in Korea

Authors: Jeounghee Kim


Objective: To describe the incidence of complication, according to the stage of Traumatic Spinal Cord Injury (TSCI) which was treated at Asan Medical Center (AMC), Korea. Hereafter, it should be developed in nursing management protocol of traumatic SCI. Methods. Retrospectively reviewed hospital records about the patients who were admitted AMC Patients with traumatic spinal cord injury until January 2005 and December 2016 were analyzed (n=97). AMC is a single institution of 2,700 beds where patients with trauma and severe trauma can be treated. Patients who were admitted to the emergency room due to spinal cord injury and who underwent intensive care unit, general ward, and rehabilitation ward. To identify long-term complications, we excluded patients who were operated on to other hospitals after surgery. Complications such as respiratory(pneumonia, atelectasis, pulmonary embolism, and others), cardiovascular (hypotension), urinary (autonomic dysreflexia, urinary tract infection (UTI), neurogenic bladder, and others), and skin systems (pressure ulcers) from the time of admission were examined through medical records and images. Results: SCI was graded according to ASIA scale. The initial grade was checked at admission. (grade A 55(56.7%), grade B 14(14.4)%, grade C 11(11.3%), grade D 15(15.5%), and grade E 2(2.1%). The grade was rechecked when the patient was discharged after treatment. (grade A 43(44.3%), grade B 15(15.5%), grade C 12(12.4%), grade D 21(21.6%), and grade E 6(6.2%). The most common complication after SCI was UTI 24cases (mean 36.5day), sore 24cases (40.5day), and Pneumonia which was 23 cases after 10days averagely. The other complications after SCI were neuropathic pain 19 cases, surgical site infection 4 cases. 53.6% of patient who had SCI were educated about intermittent catheterization at discharge from hospital. The mean hospital stay of all SCI patients was 61days. Conclusion: The Complications after traumatic SCI were developed at various stages from acute phase to chronic phase. Nurses need to understand fully the time-course of complication in traumatic SCI to provide evidence-based practice.

Keywords: spinal cord injury, complication, nursing, rehabilitation

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540 Caring for a Spinal Cord Injury Patient with Diabetic Nephropathy Receiving Hospice Palliative Care

Authors: Li-Ting Kung, Hui-Zhu Chen, Hsin-Tzu Lee, Wan-Yin Hsu


Patients with spinal cord injury combined with diabetic nephropathy may under a lot of painful conditions due to complications related to the illness itself or treatments, such as recurrent pressure ulcers, autonomic and peripheral neuropathy, as well as dialysis, for long term. This case report illustrated the nursing experience of transferring a spine cord injure patient who received hemodialysis due to adverse lifestyle-induced diabetic nephropathy to the hospice ward. Nursing care was provided in this patient from July 25th to August 30th, 2015. The tool of 'Gordon’s 11-item functional health assessment' and clinical observation, interviews as well as physical examination were used as data collections. Based on results of health assessment as above, the patient’s health problems were identified as the following: impaired skin integrity, chronic pain, and hopeless. Besides to relieve the symptom of pain due to disease or the treatment of hemodialysis and provide wound care, the first author also played a role to assist the patient to achieve his goal of receiving the hospice palliative care. Finally, with much effort of nurses to communicate with medical teams between the surgical and hospice wards, the patient was transferred to the hospice ward to have fulfilled his last wish of having a good death. We hope this nursing experience can be applied to other similar cases in the future.

Keywords: diabetic nephropathy, hospice care, palliative care, spinal cord injury

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539 Acrylamide-Induced Thoracic Spinal Cord Axonopathy

Authors: Afshin Zahedi, Keivan Jamshidi


This study was conducted to determine the neurotoxic effects of different doses of ACR on the thoracic axons of the spinal cord of rat. To evaluate this hypothesis in the thoracic axons, amino-cupric silver staining technique of the de Olmos was conducted to define the histopathologic characteristic (argyrophilia) of axonal damage following ACR exposure. For this purpose 60 adult male rats (Wistar, approximately 250 g) were selected. Rats were hosed in polycarbonate boxes as two per each. Randomly assigned groups of rats (10 rats per exposure group, total 5 exposure groups as A, B, C, D and E) were exposed to 0.5, 5, 50, 100 and 500 mg/kg per day×11days intraperitoneal injection (IP injection) respectively. The remaining 10 rats were housed in group (F) as control group. Control rats received daily injections of 0.9% saline (3ml/kg). As indices of developing neurotoxicity, weight gain, gait scores and landing hindlimb foot splay (LHF) were determined. Weight gains were measured daily prior to injection. Gait scoring involved observation of spontaneous open field locomotion, included evaluations of ataxia, hopping, rearing and hind foot placement, and hindlimb foot splay were determined 3-4 times per week. Gait score was assigned from 1-4. After 11 days, two rats for silver stain, were randomly selected, dissected and proper samples were collected from thoracic portion of the spinal cord of rat. Results did show no neurological behavior in groups A, B and F, whereas severe neurotoxicity was observed in groups C and D. Rats in groups E died within 1-2 hours due to severe toxemia. In histopathological studies based on the de Olmos technique no argyrophilic neurons or processes were observed in stained sections obtained from the thoracic portion of the spinal cord of rats belong to groups A, B and F, while moderate to severe argyrophilic changes were observed in different stained sections obtained from the thoracic portion of the spinal cord of rats belong to groups C and D.

Keywords: acrylamide, rat, axonopathy, argyrophily, de Olmos

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538 A Second Chance to Live and Move: Lumbosacral Spinal Cord Ischemia-Infarction after Cardiac Arrest and the Artery of Adamkiewicz

Authors: Anna Demian, Levi Howard, L. Ng, Leslie Simon, Mark Dragon, A. Desai, Timothy Devlantes, W. David Freeman


Introduction: Out-of-hospital cardiac arrest (OHCA) can carry a high mortality. For survivors, the most common complication is hypoxic-ischemic brain injury (HIBI). Rarely, lumbosacral spinal cord and/or other spinal cord artery ischemia can occur due to anatomic variation and variable mean arterial pressure after the return of spontaneous circulation. We present a case of an OHCA survivor who later woke up with bilateral leg weakness with preserved sensation (ASIA grade B, L2 level). Methods: We describe a clinical, radiographic, and laboratory presentation, as well as a National Library of Medicine (NLM) search engine methodology, characterizing incidence/prevalence of this entity is discussed. A 70-year-old male, a longtime smoker, and alcohol user, suddenly collapsed at a bar surrounded by friends. He had complained of chest pain before collapsing. 911 was called. EMS arrived, and the patient was in pulseless electrical activity (PEA), cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) was initiated, and the patient was intubated, and a LUCAS device was applied for continuous, high-quality CPR in the field by EMS. In the ED, central lines were placed, and thrombolysis was administered for a suspected Pulmonary Embolism (PE). It was a prolonged code that lasted 90 minutes. The code continued with the eventual return of spontaneous circulation. The patient was placed on an epinephrine and norepinephrine drip to maintain blood pressure. ECHO was performed and showed a “D-shaped” ventricle worrisome for PE as well as an ejection fraction around 30%. A CT with PE protocol was performed and confirmed bilateral PE. Results: The patient woke up 24 hours later, following commands, and was extubated. He was found paraplegic below L2 with preserved sensation, with hypotonia and areflexia consistent with “spinal shock” or anterior spinal cord syndrome. MRI thoracic and lumbar spine showed a conus medullaris level spinal cord infarction. The patient was given IV steroids upon initial discovery of cord infarct. NLM search using “cardiac arrest” and “spinal cord infarction” revealed 57 results, with only 8 review articles. Risk factors include age, atherosclerotic disease, and intraaortic balloon pump placement. AoA (Artery of Adamkiewicz) anatomic variation along with existing atherosclerotic factors and low perfusion were also known risk factors. Conclusion: Acute paraplegia from anterior spinal cord infarction of the AoA territory after cardiac arrest is rare. Larger prospective, multicenter trials are needed to examine potential interventions of hypothermia, lumbar drains, which are sometimes used in aortic surgery to reduce ischemia and/or other neuroprotectants.

Keywords: cardiac arrest, spinal cord infarction, artery of Adamkiewicz, paraplegia

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537 Understanding Neuronal and Glial Cell Behaviour in Multi-Layer Nanofibre Systems to Support the Development of an in vitro Model of Spinal Cord Injury and Personalised Prostheses for Repair

Authors: H. Pegram, R. Stevens, L. De Girolamo


Aligned electrospun nanofibres act as effective neuronal and glial cell scaffolds that can be layered to contain multiple sheets harboring different cell populations. This allows personalised biofunctional prostheses to be manufactured with both acellular and cellularised layers for the treatment of spinal cord injury. Additionally, the manufacturing route may be configured to produce in-vitro 3D cell based model of spinal cord injury to aid drug development and enhance prosthesis performance. The goal of this investigation was to optimise the multi-layer scaffold design parameters for prosthesis manufacture, to enable the development of multi-layer patient specific implant therapies. The work has also focused on the fabricating aligned nanofibre scaffolds that promote in-vitro neuronal and glial cell population growth, cell-to-cell interaction and long-term survival following trauma to mimic an in-vivo spinal cord lesion. The approach has established reproducible lesions and has identified markers of trauma and regeneration marked by effective neuronal migration across the lesion with glial support. The investigation has advanced the development of an in-vitro model of traumatic spinal cord injury and has identified a route to manufacture prostheses which target the repair spinal cord injury. Evidence collated to investigate the multi-layer concept suggests that physical cues provided by nanofibres provide both a natural extra-cellular matrix (ECM) like environment and controls cell proliferation and migration. Specifically, aligned nanofibre layers act as a guidance system for migrating and elongating neurons. On a larger scale, material type in multi-layer systems also has an influence in inter-layer migration as cell types favour different material types. Results have shown that layering nanofibre membranes create a multi-level scaffold system which can enhance or prohibit cell migration between layers. It is hypothesised that modifying nanofibre layer material permits control over neuronal/glial cell migration. Using this concept, layering of neuronal and glial cells has become possible, in the context of tissue engineering and also modelling in-vitro induced lesions.

Keywords: electrospinning, layering, lesion, modeling, nanofibre

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536 Impact of Transgenic Adipose Derived Stem Cells in the Healing of Spinal Cord Injury of Dogs

Authors: Imdad Ullah Khan, Yongseok Yoon, Kyeung Uk Choi, Kwang Rae Jo, Namyul Kim, Eunbee Lee, Wan Hee Kim, Oh-Kyeong Kweon


The primary spinal cord injury (SCI) causes mechanical damage to the neurons and blood vessels. It leads to secondary SCI, which activates multiple pathological pathways, which expand neuronal damage at the injury site. It is characterized by vascular disruption, ischemia, excitotoxicity, oxidation, inflammation, and apoptotic cell death. It causes nerve demyelination and disruption of axons, which perpetuate a loss of impulse conduction through the injured spinal cord. It also leads to the production of myelin inhibitory molecules, which with a concomitant formation of an astroglial scar, impede axonal regeneration. The pivotal role regarding the neuronal necrosis is played by oxidation and inflammation. During an early stage of spinal cord injury, there occurs an abundant expression of reactive oxygen species (ROS) due to defective mitochondrial metabolism and abundant migration of phagocytes (macrophages, neutrophils). ROS cause lipid peroxidation of the cell membrane, and cell death. Abundant migration of neutrophils, macrophages, and lymphocytes collectively produce pro-inflammatory cytokines such as tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-α), interleukin-6 (IL-6), interleukin-1beta (IL-1β), matrix metalloproteinase, superoxide dismutase, and myeloperoxidases which synergize neuronal apoptosis. Therefore, it is crucial to control inflammation and oxidation injury to minimize the nerve cell death during secondary spinal cord injury. Therefore, in response to oxidation and inflammation, heme oxygenase-1 (HO-1) is induced by the resident cells to ameliorate the milieu. In the meanwhile, neurotrophic factors are induced to promote neuroregeneration. However, it seems that anti-stress enzyme (HO-1) and neurotrophic factor (BDNF) do not significantly combat the pathological events during secondary spinal cord injury. Therefore, optimum healing can be induced if anti-inflammatory and neurotrophic factors are administered in a higher amount through an exogenous source. During the first experiment, the inflammation and neuroregeneration were selectively targeted. HO-1 expressing MSCs (HO-1 MSCs) and BDNF expressing MSCs (BDNF MSC) were co-transplanted in one group (combination group) of dogs with subacute spinal cord injury to selectively control the expression of inflammatory cytokines by HO-1 and induce neuroregeneration by BDNF. We compared the combination group with the HO-1 MSCs group, BDNF MSCs group, and GFP MSCs group. We found that the combination group showed significant improvement in functional recovery. It showed increased expression of neural markers and growth-associated proteins (GAP-43) than in other groups, which depicts enhanced neuroregeneration/neural sparing due to reduced expression of pro-inflammatory cytokines such as TNF-alpha, IL-6 and COX-2; and increased expression of anti-inflammatory markers such as IL-10 and HO-1. Histopathological study revealed reduced intra-parenchymal fibrosis in the injured spinal cord segment in the combination group than in other groups. Thus it was concluded that selectively targeting the inflammation and neuronal growth with the combined use of HO-1 MSCs and BDNF MSCs more favorably promote healing of the SCI. HO-1 MSCs play a role in controlling the inflammation, which favors the BDNF induced neuroregeneration at the injured spinal cord segment of dogs.

Keywords: HO-1 MSCs, BDNF MSCs, neuroregeneration, inflammation, anti-inflammation, spinal cord injury, dogs

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535 The Optimization of Sexual Health Resource Information and Services for Persons with Spinal Cord Injury

Authors: Nasrin Nejatbakhsh, Anita Kaiser, Sander Hitzig, Colleen McGillivray


Following spinal cord injury (SCI), many individuals experience anxiety in adjusting to their lives, and its impacts on their sexuality. Research has demonstrated that regaining sexual function is a very high priority for individuals with SCI. Despite this, sexual health is one of the least likely areas of focus in rehabilitating individuals with SCI. There is currently a considerable gap in appropriate education and resources that address sexual health concerns and needs of people with spinal cord injury. Furthermore, the determinants of sexual health in individuals with SCI are poorly understood and thus poorly addressed. The purpose of this study was to improve current practices by informing a service delivery model that rehabilitation centers can adopt for appropriate delivery of their services. Methodology: We utilized qualitative methods in the form of a semi-structured interview containing open-ended questions to assess 1) sexual health concerns, 2) helpful strategies in current resources, 3) unhelpful strategies in current resources, and 4) Barriers to obtaining sexual health information. In addition to the interviews, participants completed surveys to identify socio-demographic factors. Data gathered was coded and evaluated for emerging themes and subthemes through a ‘code-recode’ technique. Results: We have identified several robust themes that are important for SCI sexual health resource development. Through analysis of these themes and their subthemes, several important concepts have emerged that could provide agencies with helpful strategies for providing sexual health resources. Some of the important considerations are that services be; anonymous, accessible, frequent, affordable, mandatory, casual and supported by peers. Implications: By incorporating the perspectives of individuals with SCI, the finding from this study can be used to develop appropriate sexual health services and improve access to information through tailored needs based program development.

Keywords: spinal cord injury, sexual health, determinants of health, resource development

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534 Description of the Process Which Determine the Criterion Validity of Semi-Structured Interview PARA-SCI.CZ

Authors: Jarmila Štěpánová, Martin Kudláček, Lukáš Jakubec


The people with spinal cord injury are one of the least sport active members of our society. Their hypoactivity is determined by primary injury, i.e., the loss of motor function, the injured part of the body is connected with health complications and social handicap. Study performs one part of the standardization process of semi-structured interview PARA-SCI.CZ (Czech version of the Physical Activity Recall Assessment for People with Spinal Cord Injury), which measures the type, frequency, duration, and intensity of physical activity of people with spinal cord injury. The study focused on persons with paraplegia who use a wheelchair as their primary mode of mobility. The aim of this study was to perform a process to determine the criterion validity of PARA-SCI.CZ. The actual physical activity of wheelchair users was monitored during three days by using accelerometers Actigraph GT3X fixed on the non-dominant wrist, and semi-structured interview PARA-SCI.CZ. During the PARA-SCI.CZ interview, participants were asked to recall activities they had done over the past 3 days, starting with the previous day. PARA-SCI.CZ captured frequency, duration, and intensity (low, moderate, and heavy) of two categories of physical activity (leisure time physical activity and activities of a usual day). Accelerometer Actigraph GT3X captured duration and intensity (low and moderate + heavy) of physical activity during three days and nights. The study presented three potential recalculations of measured data. Standardization process of PARA-SCI.CZ is essential to critically approach issues of health and active lifestyle of persons with spinal cord injury in the Czech Republic. Standardized PARA-SCI.CZ can be used in practice by physiotherapists and sports pedagogues from the field of adapted physical activities.

Keywords: physical activity, lifestyle, paraplegia, semi-structure interview, accelerometer

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533 Coping Strategies Used by Persons with Spinal Cord Injury: A Rehabilitation Hospital Based Qualitative Study

Authors: P. W. G. D. P. Samarasekara, S. M. K. S. Seneviratne, D. Munidasa, S. S. Williams


Sustaining a spinal cord injury (SCI) causes severe disruption of all aspects of a person’s life, resulting in the difficult process of coping with the distressing effects of paralysis affecting their ability to lead a meaningful life. These persons are hospitalized in the acute stage of injury and subsequently for rehabilitation and the treatment of complications. The purpose of this study was to explore coping strategies used by persons with SCI during their rehabilitation period. A qualitative study was conducted among persons with SCI, undergoing rehabilitation at the Rheumatology and Rehabilitation Hospitals, Ragama and Digana Sri Lanka. Twelve participants were selected purposively to represent both males and females, with cervical, thoracic or lumbar levels of injuries due to traumatic and non-traumatic causes as well as from different socioeconomic backgrounds. Informed consent was taken from the participants. In-depth interviews were conducted using an interview guide to collect data. Probes were used to get more information and to encourage participants. Interviews were audio taped and transcribed verbatim. Qualitative content analysis was conducted. Ethical approval for this study was obtained from the Ethics Review Committee, Faculty of Medicine, University of Kelaniya. Five themes were identified in the content analysis: social support, religious beliefs, determination, acceptance and making comparisons. Participants indicated that the support from their family members had been an essential factor in coping, after sustaining an SCI and they expressed the importance of emotional support from family members during their rehabilitation. Many participants had a strong belief towards the God, who had a personal interest in their lives, played an important role in their ability to cope with the injury. They believed that what happens to them in this life results from their actions in previous lives. They expressed that determination was essential as a factor that helps them cope with their injury. They indicated their focus on the positive aspects of the life and accepted the disability. They made comparisons to other persons who were worse off than them to help lift them out of unpleasant experience. Even some of the most severely injured and disabled participants presented evidence of using this coping strategy. Identification of coping strategies used by persons with SCI will help nurses and other health-care professionals in reinforcing the most effective coping strategies among persons with SCI. The findings recommend that engagement coping positively influences psychosocial adaptation.

Keywords: content analysis, coping strategies, rehabilitation, spinal cord injury

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532 Network Based Molecular Profiling of Intracranial Ependymoma over Spinal Ependymoma

Authors: Hyeon Su Kim, Sungjin Park, Hae Ryung Chang, Hae Rim Jung, Young Zoo Ahn, Yon Hui Kim, Seungyoon Nam


Ependymoma, one of the most common parenchymal spinal cord tumor, represents 3-6% of all CNS tumor. Especially intracranial ependymomas, which are more frequent in childhood, have a more poor prognosis and more malignant than spinal ependymomas. Although there are growing needs to understand pathogenesis, detailed molecular understanding of pathogenesis remains to be explored. A cancer cell is composed of complex signaling pathway networks, and identifying interaction between genes and/or proteins are crucial for understanding these pathways. Therefore, we explored each ependymoma in terms of differential expressed genes and signaling networks. We used Microsoft Excel™ to manipulate microarray data gathered from NCBI’s GEO Database. To analyze and visualize signaling network, we used web-based PATHOME algorithm and Cytoscape. We show HOX family and NEFL are down-regulated but SCL family is up-regulated in cerebrum and posterior fossa cancers over a spinal cancer, and JAK/STAT signaling pathway and Chemokine signaling pathway are significantly different in the both intracranial ependymoma comparing to spinal ependymoma. We are considering there may be an age-dependent mechanism under different histological pathogenesis. We annotated mutation data of each gene subsequently in order to find potential target genes.

Keywords: systems biology, ependymoma, deg, network analysis

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531 Increasing Access to Upper Limb Reconstruction in Cervical Spinal Cord Injury

Authors: Michelle Jennett, Jana Dengler, Maytal Perlman


Background: Cervical spinal cord injury (SCI) is a devastating event that results in upper limb paralysis, loss of independence, and disability. People living with cervical SCI have identified improvement of upper limb function as a top priority. Nerve and tendon transfer surgery has successfully restored upper limb function in cervical SCI but is not universally used or available to all eligible individuals. This exploratory mixed-methods study used an implementation science approach to better understand these factors that influence access to upper limb reconstruction in the Canadian context and design an intervention to increase access to care. Methods: Data from the Canadian Institute for Health Information’s Discharge Abstracts Database (CIHI-DAD) and the National Ambulatory Care Reporting System (NACRS) were used to determine the annual rate of nerve transfer and tendon transfer surgeries performed in cervical SCI in Canada over the last 15 years. Semi-structured interviews informed by the consolidated framework for implementation research (CFIR) were used to explore Ontario healthcare provider knowledge and practices around upper limb reconstruction. An inductive, iterative constant comparative process involving descriptive and interpretive analyses was used to identify themes that emerged from the data. Results: Healthcare providers (n = 10 upper extremity surgeons, n = 10 SCI physiatrists, n = 12 physical and occupational therapists working with individuals with SCI) were interviewed about their knowledge and perceptions of upper limb reconstruction and their current practices and discussions around upper limb reconstruction. Data analysis is currently underway and will be presented. Regional variation in rates of upper limb reconstruction and trends over time are also currently being analyzed. Conclusions: Utilization of nerve and tendon transfer surgery to improve upper limb reconstruction in Canada remains low. There are a complex array of interrelated individual-, provider- and system-level barriers that prevent individuals with cervical SCI from accessing upper limb reconstruction. In order to offer equitable access to care, a multi-modal approach addressing current barriers is required.

Keywords: cervical spinal cord injury, nerve and tendon transfer surgery, spinal cord injury, upper extremity reconstruction

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