The Spinal Cord Injury ( Sci )

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Introduction Spinal Cord Injury (SCI) can result in loss or permanent damage of motor, sensory or autonomic function, generally caused by physical trauma to the spinal cord. In humans the most common type of SCI is hemisection or contusion (Nandoe-Tewarie et al. 2009). This incomplete injury, leads to swelling or compression of the spinal cord due to bone displacement, resulting in partial loss of function and/or sensation. Complete severing of the spinal cord fibres can occur, although less often, and results in impairment of all function and sensation below the trauma site (Sobani et al. 2010). Due to the complicated physiology of the spinal cord and central nervous system, and their diminished regenerative properties, currently, there have been no effective forms of treatment of SCI. SCI occurs in two stages. The primary stage being the physical injury itself causing damage to the spinal cord, resulting in bruising, a possible demyelination of axons, cell apoptosis as well as subsequent hemorrhaging at the injury site (Inukai et al. 2009). The secondary stage involves exacerbation of the damage via initiation of the body’s inflammatory response. Immediately following injury, pro-inflammatory cytokines; interleukin-beta (IL-β) and tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNFα) are released from both neighboring and damaged cells, resulting in an up-regulation of the inflammatory response, resulting in cyst formation. These cysts are left behind post-inflammation and hamper recovery
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