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Thread: NINTS - Blow by Blow

  1. #1

    NINTS - Blow by Blow

    So, I am in Tampa attending the National-International Neurotrauma Symposium, the first joint meeting between these two societies that represent almost all the researchers and clinicians that do spinal cord injury and tramatic brain injury research. The meeting started on October 27, 2002. Below, I will post comments whenever I can.

  2. #2
    Super Moderator Sue Pendleton's Avatar
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    The party is in Tampa this week everyone! Drinks on Wise. Get Patricia to also post her thoughts on what you're hearing down there. Before the margaritas take effect..

    Courage doesn't always roar. Sometimes courage is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying, "I will try again tomorrow."

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    We are

    anxiously awaiting to hear the news. Thanks Dr. Y and staff.

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    Thank you Wise, can't wait to hear what you've learned.

    Safe travels.

    Onward and Upward!

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    Opening reception at the Neurotrauma meeting 10/27/02

    After a lot of thank you's to everybody, including the VA, NIH, Kent Waldrep, and others who have helped support the meeting, the symposium started in earnest with three talks.

    The first was by Marilyn Anderson who had head injury from a collision with a bicycle rider when she was jogging. She told the story of her recovery, how she really hated the rehabilitation and all her friends and families who tried to support her during the early weeks, and how she is really looking forward to the meeting. She finished a book on how to write English several months after her head injury and is a prominent supporter of the theory of activity induced plasticity and recovery after head injury.

    Then Sasha (Alexander) Rabechsky, a paraplegic spinal cord injury scientists spoke. He had two major points. The first was the need for scientists and clinicians to talk to the spinal cord injury community and understand what people in the community really wants. He pointed out to the survey that Kim Anderson, a quadriplegic scientist at the Reeve-Irvine Center, is carrying out, suggesting that the priorities of the community differs considerably from the standard goal of "walking". He then pointed out that, in addition to his laboratory research at the University of Kentucky where he is an assistant professor, he has been working on another personal project. He pulled out one of these walkers with two wheels, turned on a stimulator hanging from his belt, stood up, and hobbled (with some effort) across the stage to the other side withthe walker. He said that he had electrodes transplanted for FES and the muscle activation allows him to stand. Everybody stood and clapped.

    The Ameritech Foundation gave their annual award to Steven Strittmatter for his work on Nogo receptor blockers. It is a $40K award given to the person who has done the most for "cure" of spinal cord injury every year. Steven gave an excellent talk in which he summarized recent work that showed that the Nogo receptor is probably the primary mediator of axonal inhibitor by Nogo, MAG, and CSPG. As some here probably know, Strittmatter is a neurologist from Yale who co-discovered the gene for Nogo and then used the informaton on Nogo to find the Nogo receptor, found fragment of Nogo that blocks the receptor, and proposed to use this approach to treat spinal cord injury. Early this year, he had reported that this fragment of Nogo stimulates regeneration in rats with spinal cord injury. He talked about two other major advances from his laboratory that have not yet been published, to my knowledge.
    1. Mice that have had the Nogo gene knockout showed impressive spontaneous regeneration, suggesting strongly that Nogo is the main inhibitor of axonal growth.
    2. The Nogo 1-40 fragment can be given systemically (i.e. intraperitoneally or subcutaneously) to rats and promote regeneration in the spinal cord.

    Afterward everybody had a dinner buffet by the pool side. There were so many people that I can't begin to name everybody who might be familiar to our community. Miami Project and University of Florida at Gainesville were of course there in force. Mary Bunge, Dalton Dietrich, Doug Anderson, Paul Reier, and many others. Tons of people came from Europe.

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    Kim Anderson has posted here about the survey she is conducting...I´ll bump it up.

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    Monday stated with a review of TBI and SCI research by Graham Teasdale, Anders Holze, followed by a talk by Susan Horne who reported several studies of the efficacy of rehabilitative and nursing care.

    Graham Teasdale ponted out the need for systematic data collection in head injury and the development of clinical trial vehicles. Anders Holz likewise talked about the need the move SCI therapies more rapidly to clinical trial.

    Susan Horne emphasized this by showing some studies that the importance of systematic analyses of rehabilitation practices. For example, the current dogma is that one should avoid benzodiazepines (valium, etc.) in people who have being rehabilitated in brain therapy and an emphasis on monotherapies (single drug), usually antidepressants. They assessed the days of hospitalization and severity of brain dysfunction in a large population of patients and found that those who have combination therapies may show less dysfunction. Likewise, she showed that the amount of nursing care, even 30 minutes extra per day (the current average RN time spent per patient-day is about 10 minutes) will make an enormous difference in the incidence of decubiti and bladder problems. She showed that although this extra 30 minutes per patient costs $500,000 per 100 patient-year, it resulted in the savings of close to $1,000,000 per 100 patient-year. It is true that these correlation does not imply causation but these kinds of findings reinforce the importance of collecting data during rehabilitation, to understand the impact of practices that we take for granted.

    In the afternoon, there was a session on the mechanisms of molecular pathways to apoptosis (programmed cell death) after CNS injury. There has been great progress in this field and a huge amount of data is pouring out regarding the mechanisms, providing a wealth of potential therapeutic targets. Tracy McIntosh talked about cell death mechanisms in head injury. Ella Englander talked about the role of mitochondrial and nuclear DNA damage. Stuart Lipton gave a really great talke about the molecular pathways of apoptosis, presenting a systematic pharmaceutical/pharmacological tour of the field.

    There were several breakout sessions, one for clinically oriented researchers and the other for more laboratory oriented researchers. The first was called Bedside to the Laboratory (an interesting twist... because most of the time we are focussed on Bench to Bedside) but this session focusses on what lessons clinical phenomena have for researchers in the laboratory. The second focussed on mechanisms of cell death, particularly DNA damage and repair, oxidative stress, and mitochondrial dysfunction.

    In the late afternoon, the free communication session had several interesting topics. Ross Bullock's group talked about application of phosphocreatine (a high energy phosphorylated metabolite) to injured brains. Linda Noble's laboratory reported on that heme oxygenase-2 prevents lipid peroxidation and improve behavioral recovery in rats with traumatic brain injury. Tracy McIntosh's lab presented new results on transplanted stem cells and the role of EGF receptor in the migration of the cells. Ron Doucette's laboratory report that olfactory ensheathing glial cells promote robust axonal growth after compressive spinal cord injury. There was an MRI study of a rat brain injury model and another study on the differences in head injury outcome in young rats ranging from neonatal to juvenile.

    There are close to 100 posters being presented every day. So much stuff. To me, the most significant one was presented by the laboratory of Michelle Basso who has now devised and validated a new mouse locomotor scale. This will now allow rigorous assessment of mouse spinal cord injury models. I will summarize these posters but am already being overwhelmed by the posters and talks on Tuesday.

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    Mike C, I spoke to Kim Anderson and promised her that we will try to get more people for the site to fill out her survey. She wants to find out what is most important to the community in terms of research. She is in a good position to communicate this to the scientists. Wise.

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    Senior Member DA's Avatar
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    Anders Holz likewise talked about the need the move SCI therapies more rapidly to clinical trial.

    dr young insist on this guy talking more. its obvious he knows what he is talking about.


    and get some of those ppl to join CURECARE.

  10. #10
    Nice Job, Wise.

    Rusty

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