Our clinical focus are spinal cord injuries, both traumatic (SCI) and the much more common form resulting from degenerative changes in the cervical spine, termed Cervical Spondylotic Myelopathy CSM. Both injuries can have severe consequences with neurological symptoms ranging up to complete paralysis, incontinence and neuropathic pain.
Although CSM is very common, our understanding of the disease is very limited. Even fundamentally basic issues such as the natural course of the disease, the pathophysiology, and who is at risk remain largely elusive. Moreover, the diagnosis of CSM is often delayed or missed, there are no established patient pathways and, apart form surgery, there are no further treatment options.
Our research aims at 1) elucidating the course of CSM and the reasons for neurological deterioration, 2) investigating the underlying disease mechanisms, and 3) developing novel treatment approaches for spinal cord injuries, and 4) optimising clinical pathways. Our research approach is multi-disciplinary, including collaborations with physiotherapists, rehabilitation doctors, spine and neurosurgeons, neurologists, and GPs. In addition we utilise cutting edge MRI and PET imaging techniques, with the aim of identifying disease and prognostic markers. We work together with computer scientists to develop novel internet and mobile App based assessment tools. Funded by the NIHR we will address many aspects of our research questions in the first regenerative medicine trial in CSM (RECEDE Myelopathy).
The clinical research group aims to deliver practice changing research, that will enhance the lives of patients with cervical myelopathy and related spinal cord injuries. Since its creation in Sept 2015, the group overseen by Dr Benjamin Davies, has enlisted the support of over 20 Medical Student Researchers to tackle these issues.
Our clinical research led to the foundation of www.myelopathy.org, the first charity dedicated to Degenerative Cervical Myelopathy.
- What are the diagnostic delays in DCM and what is their impact?
- Describing and modelling patient flow, from onset of symptoms to diagnosis of DCM
- What is the role of MRI reporting on surgical decision making?
- GAP Analysis in GP training and knowledge GP education about DCM