Relationship of MRI to ASIA Impairment Scale in Chronic Spinal Cord Injury

Principal Investigator: John McDonald

Development of imaging correlates of the integrity of spinal cord white matter is needed for optimizing design of clinical trials in spinal cord injury and therapies for patients with chronic spinal cord injury (SCI). The long-range objectives of our investigation are twofold:

(1) To add to the classification value of the American Spinal Injury Association (ASIA) Impairment Scale by establishing structural and functional MR imaging criteria for chronic SCI.

(2) To understand the variables that contribute to residual neurological function and to the enhanced capacity for recovery in individuals with SCI. We will use structural and functional MRI modalities that are presently applied to patient populations in an attempt to provide a non-invasive means to correlate the functional properties and organization of the central nervous system (CNS) as well as the peripheral nervous system (PNS) with neurological function in subjects with chronic SCI.

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