Cell death in spinal cord injury – An evolving taxonomy with therapeutic promise
Hypoxia-Inducible Factor-Proline Dioxygenases
© Cambridge University Press 2011.Introduction The Edwin Smith Papyrus, the only surviving copy of the ancient Egyptian textbook on trauma surgery, shows that the therapeutic challenge of protecting the nervous system after spinal cord injury (SCI) has burdened man for millenia (Haas, 1999). During the past 5, 000 years, the sense of urgency surrounding treatment for this important malady has only grown as preventive measures have failed to eradicate it (Gupta et al., 2009; Gupta et al., 2008). Given the daunting challenges in repairing the injured spinal cord according to the accurate anatomic descriptions of the ancient Papyrus, it is not surprising that attention has focused on preventing cell death after injury (Faden & Stoica 2007). This chapter traces some of the intellectual antecedents underlying our current models of death and survival in the spinal cord after trauma and culminates in a discussion of the potential therapeutic implications of the field' s journey to date, focusing on the concept of apoptosis and its now appreciated variants.
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