Investigation into the factors that promote development and expansion of spinal cord cysts

2013 Research Award Highly Commended

Johnny Ho Yin Wong, Australian School of Advanced Medicine

Spinal cord cysts (syringomyelia) occur in approximately 28 per cent of patients following spinal cord injury. It causes pain and progressive disability with development of weakness and paraplegia over months to years after the initial injury.

The underlying mechanisms for syringomyelia development and expansion are still poorly understood. Treatment for syringomyelia is associated with high failure rates, and more effective treatment will not be developed until a better understanding of causative factors is obtained.

Wong’s research investigated the factors promoting syringomyelia development, such as the chemistry, pulsations and flow of syrinx fluid and molecular channels in human and animal studies.

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