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Chondroitinase combined with rehabilitation promotes recovery in chronic SCI

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    Chondroitinase combined with rehabilitation promotes recovery in chronic SCI

    J Neurosci. 2011 Jun 22;31(25):9332-44.

    Chondroitinase combined with rehabilitation promotes recovery of forelimb function in rats with chronic spinal cord injury.

    Wang D, Ichiyama RM, Zhao R, Andrews MR, Fawcett JW.

    Cambridge University Centre for Brain Repair, Cambridge CB2 0PY, United Kingdom, and Institute of Membrane and Systems Biology, University of Leeds, Leeds LS2 9JT, United Kingdom.

    Chondroitinase ABC (ChABC) in combination with rehabilitation has been shown to promote functional recovery in acute spinal cord injury. For clinical use, the optimal treatment window is concurrent with the beginning of rehabilitation, usually 2-4 weeks after injury. We show that ChABC is effective when given 4 weeks after injury combined with rehabilitation. After C4 dorsal spinal cord injury, rats received no treatment for 4 weeks. They then received either ChABC or penicillinase control treatment followed by hour-long daily rehabilitation specific for skilled paw reaching. Animals that received both ChABC and task-specific rehabilitation showed the greatest recovery in skilled paw reaching, approaching similar levels to animals that were treated at the time of injury. There was also a modest increase in skilled paw reaching ability in animals receiving task-specific rehabilitation alone. Animals treated with ChABC and task-specific rehabilitation also showed improvement in ladder and beam walking. ChABC increased sprouting of the corticospinal tract, and these sprouts had more vGlut1(+ve) presynaptic boutons than controls. Animals that received rehabilitation showed an increase in perineuronal net number and staining intensity. Our results indicate that ChABC treatment opens a window of opportunity in chronic spinal cord lesions, allowing rehabilitation to improve functional recovery.
    “As the cast of villains in SCI is vast and collaborative, so too must be the chorus of hero's that rise to meet them” Ramer et al 2005