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Review of recently documented clinical neuroprotective and cellular treatment for spinal cord injury: an analysis of outcomes

Authors Saberi H, Derakhshanrad N, Yekaninejad MS

Received 7 August 2013

Accepted for publication 11 October 2013

Published 6 December 2013 Volume 2014:2 Pages 15—24


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 4

Hooshang Saberi,1,2 Nazi Derakhshanrad,1 Mir Saeed Yekaninejad1,3

1Brain and Spinal Injuries Research Center, 2Department of Neurosurgery, Imam Khomeini Hospital, 3Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, School of Public Health, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran

Abstract: Emergence of new neuroprotective treatments for spinal cord injury (SCI) in recent clinical studies is a matter of great scientific and public interest. Effect size and complication rates are of particular concern. In this study, a search was performed in the PubMed, Scopus, and Scholar Google search engines using the keywords “spinal cord injury”, “cell transplantation” and “neuroprotective”. Clinical studies published in the English language were included. Using the study inclusion criteria, 45 clinically relevant studies were found in which neurologic changes was descriptively reported. Of these, 20 studies with American Spinal Injury Association scale, and sensory and motor reports were included for quantitative review. Overall, these papers show an increment in the number of studies reported since the turn of the century, and recent endeavors in the field have accelerated. To compare newer and older studies, considering sufficient numbers of studies in each group, the year 2010 was identified as the turning point. The mean ± standard deviation change in motor score after treatment was 8.67±3.48 in reports before 2010, and this increased to 8.95±2.78 after 2010. Similarly, the mean change in score for light touch was 9.57±3.63 before 2010 and increased to 10.58±3.06 after 2010. The mean change in score for pinprick sensation improved from 8.36±2.82 before 2010 to 8.39±2.69 after 2010. Our study indicates that cellular and neuroprotective therapies are becoming more popular, and the mean neurologic effect size in terms of light touch shows an increment, paving the pathway for clinical applications to be established in the near future.

Keywords: spinal cord injury, cell transplantation, neuroprotective treatment

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