Imaging biomarkers may transform SCI treatment
In a July 2013 issue of The Lancet Neurology (Vol. 12, Issue 9, published 2 July 2013), researchers explored an alternative strategy for assessing patients with SCI that may be an improvement on the American Spinal Cord Injury Association’s impairment scale (AIS).
According to the article, the AIS doesn’t account for advances in our understanding of SCI. In contrast, the work presented by Patrick Freund and his colleagues “provides a clever example of an imaging biomarker that could be used as a surrogate for clinical examination.”
The imaging biomarkers discussed by the researchers potentially can be used at any stage of an SCI. The main limitation seems to be the ability to generalize it for use in high-volume centers that treat SCI patients, and “the data acquisition and post-processing techniques described by Freund and colleagues are probably beyond the reach of most neurosurgery and neuroradiology experts.”
This is an area worthy of additional study, however, according to the authors, who state that “efforts should be made to bridge this knowledge gap through exchanges at neuroimaging meetings and specialised [sic] work groups such as the recent spinal cord imaging meeting sponsored by the International Spinal Research Trust and the Wings for Life Foundation.”
Read the article at TheLancet.com (free subscription required)
Freund and colleagues have set a benchmark for future work in this area.