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Can early changes predict your spinal injury recovery?

On Behalf of | Apr 20, 2020 | Injury

Spinal cord injuries can occur for several different reasons. Car accidents, slip-and-falls and blunt force trauma can all explain a spinal cord injury or SCI. Patients who suffer SCIs can suffer from nerve tissue loss. This loss occurs not only in the spinal cord, but in parts of the brain. 

When it comes to spinal cord injuries, these are catastrophic and life-changing injuries. In the past, the trajectory of these injuries was difficult to predict. Even current medical science may not always be able to predict a patient’s recovery. However, according to Science Daily, a study out of the University of Zurich showed that doctors may be able to predict a patient’s recovery. 

Utilizing neuroimaging, a doctor can look at the tissue loss in the brain and spinal cord as a result of the injury. How the patient changes in those first six months may be able to predict the next two years. 

Early changes can predict long-term recovery 

In the first six months of a patients recovery, he or she may experience the most changes. These early microstructural changes can help doctors predict the long-term recovery. Doctors can plan treatments and rehabilitation around these factors. 

Initial nerve loss can affect long-term recovery 

For patients that suffer acute traumatic injuries, the extent of neurodegeneration and the accumulation of iron in nerve tissue may have a link to the recovery levels. For those with less change within the first six months of injury, may have a better long-term recovery than other patients. Doctors can then figure out what treatments are effective.