Rodent models for treatment of spinal cord injury: Research trends and progress toward useful repair

Ephron S. Rosenzweig, John W. McDonald

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

85 Scopus citations


Purpose of review: In this review, we have documented some current research trends in rodent models of spinal cord injury. We have also catalogued the treatments used in studies published between October 2002 and November 2003, with special attention given to studies in which treatments were delayed for at least 4 days after injury. Recent findings: Most spinal cord injury studies are performed with one of three general injury models: transection, compression, or contusion. Although most treatments are begun immediately after injury, a growing number of studies have used delayed interventions. Mice and the genetic tools they offer are gaining in popularity. Some researchers are setting their sights beyond locomotion, to issues more pressing for people with spinal cord injury (especially bladder function and pain). Summary: Delayed treatment protocols may extend the window of opportunity for treatment of spinal cord injury, whereas continued progress in the prevention of secondary cell death will reduce the severity of new cases. The use of mice will hopefully accelerate progress towards useful regeneration in humans. Researchers must improve cross-study comparability to allow balanced decisions about potentially useful treatments.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)121-131
Number of pages11
JournalCurrent opinion in neurology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 2004


  • Mouse
  • Rat
  • Regeneration

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology


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