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Abstract #0391

Spatiotemporal dynamics of anterograde and retrograde neurodegeneration following spinal cord injury

Simon Schading1, Gergely David1, Tim Max Emmenegger1, Cristian Achim1, Armin Curt1, and Patrick Freund1,2,3
1Spinal Cord Injury Center, Balgrist University Hospital, Z├╝rich, Switzerland, 2Wellcome Trust Centre for Neuroimaging, UCL Institute of Neurology, London, United Kingdom, 3Department of Neurophysics, Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences, Leipzig, Germany

Synopsis

We tracked remote neurodegenerative changes in the cervical cord following spinal cord injury over 2 years using macrostructural readouts (cross-sectional area, left-right width, anterior-posterior width) derived from T1-weighted MPRAGE images. Thereby, we evaluated the dependency of the magnitude of atrophy on the distance to the lesion. Over time, differences in atrophy rates along the cervical cord rostral to the lesion gradually formed a lesion gradient. Using anterior-posterior width and left-right width as surrogates for investigating anterograde and retrograde degeneration separately, our results suggest that these two types exhibit different spatiotemporal dynamics. A lesion gradient was only observable for retrograde degeneration.

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