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  Dorsal and ventral horn atrophy is associated with clinical outcome after spinal cord injury

Huber, E., David, G., Thompson, A. J., Weiskopf, N., Mohammadi, S., & Freund, P. (2018). Dorsal and ventral horn atrophy is associated with clinical outcome after spinal cord injury. Neurology, 90(17), e1510-e1522. doi:10.1212/WNL.0000000000005361.

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Huber, Eveline1, Author
David, Gergely1, Author
Thompson, Alan J.2, Author
Weiskopf, Nikolaus3, 4, Author           
Mohammadi, Siawoosh5, Author
Freund, Patrick1, 3, 4, Author           
1Spinal Cord Injury Center, Balgrist University Hospital, Zurich, Switzerland, ou_persistent22              
2Department of Brain Repair and Rehabilitation , UCL Institute of Neurology, University College London, UK, ou_persistent22              
3Department Neurophysics (Weiskopf), MPI for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences, Max Planck Society, ou_2205649              
4Wellcome Trust Centre for Neuroimaging, UCL Institute of Neurology, University College London, UK, ou_persistent22              
5 Department of Systems Neuroscience, University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf, Germany, ou_persistent22              


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 Abstract: OBJECTIVE:
To investigate whether gray matter pathology above the level of injury, alongside white matter changes, also contributes to sensorimotor impairments after spinal cord injury.

A 3T MRI protocol was acquired in 17 tetraplegic patients and 21 controls. A sagittal T2-weighted sequence was used to characterize lesion severity. At the C2-3 level, a high-resolution T2*-weighted sequence was used to assess cross-sectional areas of gray and white matter, including their subcompartments; a diffusion-weighted sequence was used to compute voxel-based diffusion indices. Regression models determined associations between lesion severity and tissue-specific neurodegeneration and associations between the latter with neurophysiologic and clinical outcome.

Neurodegeneration was evident within the dorsal and ventral horns and white matter above the level of injury. Tract-specific neurodegeneration was associated with prolonged conduction of appropriate electrophysiologic recordings. Dorsal horn atrophy was associated with sensory outcome, while ventral horn atrophy was associated with motor outcome. White matter integrity of dorsal columns and corticospinal tracts was associated with daily-life independence.

Our results suggest that, next to anterograde and retrograde degeneration of white matter tracts, neuronal circuits within the spinal cord far above the level of injury undergo transsynaptic neurodegeneration, resulting in specific gray matter changes. Such improved understanding of tissue-specific cord pathology offers potential biomarkers with more efficient targeting and monitoring of neuroregenerative (i.e., white matter) and neuroprotective (i.e., gray matter) agents.


 Dates: 2017-11-202018-01-242018-03-282018-04-24
 Publication Status: Published in print
 Pages: -
 Publishing info: -
 Table of Contents: -
 Rev. Type: Peer
 Identifiers: DOI: 10.1212/WNL.0000000000005361
PMID: 29592888
PMC: PMC5921039
Other: Epub 2018
 Degree: -



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Project information

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Project name : Non-invasive in vivo histology in health and disease using Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) / HMRI
Grant ID : 616905
Funding program : FP7 (ERC-2013-CoG)
Funding organization : European Commission (EC)
Project name : Antibodies against Nogo-A to enhance plasticity, regeneration and functional recovery after acute spinal cord injury, a multicenter European clinical proof of concept trial / NISCI
Grant ID : 681094
Funding program : Horizon 2020
Funding organization : European Commission (EC)
Project name : Talking imaging into the therapeutic domain: Self-regulation of brain systems for mental disorders / BrainTrain
Grant ID : 602186
Funding program : Funding Programme 7 (FP7-HEALTH-2013-INNOVATION-1)
Funding organization : European Commission (EC)
Project name : Mesoscopic characterization of human white-matter: A computational in-vivo MRI framework / MWMI
Grant ID : 658589
Funding program : Horizon 2020
Funding organization : European Commission (EC)
Project name : NEURON-Verbund hMRTofScl: Entschlüsselung der pathophysiologischen Prozesse induziert durch eine Querschnittslähmung: Anwendung von MRT basierter in vivo und ex vivo Histologie / Era-Net NEURON
Grant ID : 01EW1711B
Funding program : ERA-NET NEURON (ERA-NET NEURON JTC2016)
Funding organization : German Ministry for Education and Research (BMBF)
Project name : -
Grant ID : WFL-CH-007/14
Funding program : -
Funding organization : Wings for Life, Austria
Project name : -
Grant ID : IRP-P158
Funding program : -
Funding organization : International Foundation for Research in Paraplegia
Project name : -
Grant ID : -
Funding program : -
Funding organization : Clinical Research Priority Program Neurorehab UZH
Project name : -
Grant ID : 0915/Z/10/Z
Funding program : -
Funding organization : Wellcome Trust
Project name : -
Grant ID : MO 2397/4-1
Funding program : -
Funding organization : Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG)
Project name : -
Grant ID : -
Funding program : -
Funding organization : University College London/University College London Hospitals National Institute of Health Biomedical Research Centre

Source 1

Title: Neurology
Source Genre: Journal
Publ. Info: Cleveland, Ohio [etc.] : Advanstar Communications [etc.]
Pages: - Volume / Issue: 90 (17) Sequence Number: - Start / End Page: e1510 - e1522 Identifier: ISSN: 0028-3878
CoNE: https://pure.mpg.de/cone/journals/resource/954925246073