Virtual PM&R Grand Rounds: Regenerative Medicine: Spinal Cord Injury Repair
The Department of Rehabilitation Medicine invites you to virtually join us for our PM&R Grand Rounds with speaker, Ramiro Quinta, PhD. Registration is required for the event in order to receive the link to join and call-in information.
For decades, dynamic and sequential association between axon regeneration and recovery of voluntary control of locomotion has been considered the Holy Grail for spinal cord injury (SCI) repair. The "key" has been thought to be the long-distance regeneration of the motor and sensory tracts that are interrupted by SCI, and subsequent re-connection to appropriate target spinal neurons to achieve functional locomotor restoration. However, despite substantial efforts devoted worldwide in this direction, even the most promising results in the field have only achieved axonal regeneration without a subsequent significant improvement in locomotor function. This highlights that the field is still far from developing an effective treatment to promote functional re-growth of axonal tracts to achieve recovery of paralysis, restoration of autonomic function and re-gain of sensation.
The main question remains of whether it is essential to achieve long-distance regeneration of descending tracts to improve or re-gain the locomotor function previously lost. From a pathological standpoint, descending axonal tracts are affected depending on the type and severity of the lesion and the time/stage after injury (acute, sub-acute and chronic). In this context, my long term goal as a young SCI researcher is to develop a new approach to promote the recovery of voluntary control of locomotion.