Spinal Cord Injury

  • Medical Author:
    Jason C. Eck, DO, MS

    Dr. Eck received a Bachelor of Science degree from the Catholic University of America in Biomedical Engineering, followed by a Master of Science degree in Biomedical Engineering from Marquette University. Following this he worked as a research engineer conducting spine biomechanics research. He then attended medical school at University of Health Sciences. He is board eligible in orthopaedic surgery.

  • Medical Editor: Jay W. Marks, MD
    Jay W. Marks, MD

    Jay W. Marks, MD

    Jay W. Marks, MD, is a board-certified internist and gastroenterologist. He graduated from Yale University School of Medicine and trained in internal medicine and gastroenterology at UCLA/Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles.

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The Future of Spinal Cord Research

Fueled by significant federal and private funding, the past decade of spinal cord injury research has produced a wealth of discoveries that are making the repair of injured spinal cords a reachable goal. This is good news for the 10,000 to 12,000 Americans every year who sustain these traumatic injuries.

Because spinal cord injuries happen predominantly to people under the age of 30, the human cost is high. Major improvements in emergency and acute care have improved survival rates but have also increased the numbers of individuals who have to cope with severe disabilities for the rest of their lives. The cost to society, in terms of health care costs, disability payments, and lost income, is disproportionately high compared to other medical conditions.

Considering the biological complexity of spinal cord injury, discovering successful ways to repair injuries and create rehabilitative strategies that significantly reduce disabilities is not an easy task. Researchers, many of them supported by the NINDS, are actively developing innovative research strategies aimed at making the kinds of exciting new discoveries that will translate into better clinical care and better lives for all.

Medically reviewed by Joseph Carcione, DO; American board of Psychiatry and Neurology

REFERENCES:

National Institutes of Health (www.nih.gov)
CDC, Spinal Cord Injury Fact Sheet,
http://www.cdc.gov/traumaticbraininjury/scifacts.html

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 6/4/2015
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