Spinal Cord Injury Proteomics

Each year, approximately 1,500 Canadians sustain an acute traumatic spinal cord injury (SCI). Disability from an SCI results both from the initial trauma, and secondary cell damage that occurs due to pathophysiological processes after the initial SCI event. Current research suggests that neuroprotective drugs need to be administered early after injury to head off secondary cell damage, yet current diagnostics aren’t able to determine and classify the exact severity of the spinal injury within this timeframe. This makes it difficult to predict how much spontaneous recovery can be expected and which treatment strategies will improve functional recovery. Using proteomics technologies, this team is working to identify and validate biomarkers to monitor the severity of spinal cord injuries (SCI), and allow the “real time” ongoing evaluation of candidate drugs in human clinical trials.