Camilo Molina, MD

Assistant Professor, WashU Neurosurgery

Understanding and treatment of acute spinal cord injury (SCI)

Our current research program aims to validate the safety and utility of lumbar drains for intraspinal pressure (ISP) monitoring, cerebrospinal fluid (CFS) diversion, and spinal cord perfusion pressure (SCPP) optimization with the ultimate goal of advancing the understanding and treatment of acute spinal cord injury (SCI). Advancements in this area of therapy represent an early intervention that could improve and/or restore function in the short and long term as well as provide valuable information that would help us understand better the physiopathology of acute SCI. This program includes mechanistic research (pathological mechanisms after SCI), translational research (effect of novel intervention in SCI outcome), and clinical research that will enable future larger-scale studies seeking high-level evidence supporting the potential findings of these research efforts. In addition, collection of CSF during the acute phase of SCI using lumbar drains may contribute to the discovery of biomarkers associated with the degree of neurological injury as well as immunological targets to blunt the pathologic gliotic immune response that occurs following acute SCI. If our hypotheses are correct, we are confident that the efforts of our research may yield a paradigm shift in the management and understanding of acute SCI.

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