Pharmacologic and cellular therapies in the treatment of traumatic spinal cord injuries: A systematic review

Syed I. Khalid, Ravi S. Nunna, Samantha Maasarani, B. S.Ryan Kelly, Hannah Sroussi, Ankit I. Mehta, Owoicho Adogwa

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Objective: The objective of this review is to synthesize and consolidate the existing literature on the treatment of SCI, focusing on drugs in development and cellular therapeutics, including stem-cell treatments. Methods: Studies were identified through a systemic search of PubMed, Ovid MEDLINE, Embase and the Cochrane database from their respective inceptions through January 1, 2020. We used the keywords “spinal cord injuries”, “therapeutics”, “stem cells”, and “pharmacology.” Study selection: Studies that assessed treatment strategies for SCI were included. Data extraction and synthesis: Data on SCIs were processed according to the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and meta-Analyses (PRISMA) guidelines. Findings: In total, 62 articles were found in the literature search and 13 clinical trials were identified and included in this study. This review article discusses the management and treatment of SCI with an emphasis on the pharmacology, molecular approaches, and the use of stem cells. Presently, none of the treatments examined has shown to be clearly effective. Conclusions: Present management strategies of SCI are focused on improving spinal cord perfusion and decreasing secondary injuries such as hypoxia, inflammation, edema, excitotoxicity and disturbances of ion homeostasis. This review hopes to demonstrate the significant advances made in the field of SCI and the new methodologies and practices being employed by researchers to improve our knowledge of the pathology. Our hope is that by consolidating the past and current research, improvements can be made in the management, treatment, and outcomes for these patients and other who suffer from spinal pathologies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)12-20
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Clinical Neuroscience
StatePublished - Sep 2020


  • Clinical trials
  • Pharmacology
  • Spinal cord
  • Spinal cord injury
  • Stem cells
  • Treatment of spinal cord injuries

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Physiology (medical)


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