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Spinal Cord Injury Center, Research

Metabolic changes in the CNS after SCI or DCM using MRS

Project leader: Prof. Dr. Patrick Freund


In this project, we investigate the metabolic changes above and below the level of injury and in distinctive brain regions of spinal cord injury (SCI) and degenerative cervical myelopathy (DCM) patients.

A detailed characterization of these metabolic changes occurring along the whole neuraxis after traumatic and non-traumatic SCI is crucial to acquire information about the underlying alterations driving degeneration and reorganization in patients after injury.

The understanding of not only structural but also molecular changes is of high importance when it comes to the diagnostic workup and outcome prediction in these patients. Moreover, we explore the metabolic profile of the uninjured cervical and lumbar cord in longitudinal studies by following these molecular changes over a certain period of time post-injury. We aim to assess the relationship of these biomarkers to lesion severity, clinical impairments, the emergence of neuropathic pain, and neurological recovery. Such sensitive and valid metabolic biomarkers hold the potential to improve outcome prediction and patient stratification in future clinical trials. This project is funded by the International Foundation for Research in Paraplegia (IRP-P158).



Metabolic changes in the CNS after SCI & DCM  using MRS



Pfyffer, Dario, Patrik O. Wyss, Eveline Huber, Armin Curt, Anke Henning, and Patrick Freund. 2020. “Metabolites of Neuroinflammation Relate to Neuropathic Pain after Spinal Cord Injury.” Neurology 95 (7): e805–14.

Wyss, Patrik O., Eveline Huber, Armin Curt, Spyros Kollias, Patrick Freund, and Anke Henning. 2019. “MR Spectroscopy of the Cervical Spinal Cord in Chronic Spinal Cord Injury.” Radiology 291 (1): 131–38.