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Diagnostics Liquid biopsy, Neurology, Screening and monitoring

Saving the Spine with Serum Cytokines

Despite modern medicine’s rapid advancement, patients’ chances of recovery after spinal cord injury (SCI) are still slim. But this is not just down to the lack of effective treatment – there’s also a need for rapid, reliable diagnostic biomarkers to predict SCI severity and guide clinicians in their treatment decision-making.

A pilot study seekinging to fill this gap has conducted a multiplex analysis of serum cytokines in patients two weeks post-injury – finding a significant increase of IFNγ, CCL27, and CCL26 (1). The researchers also found differences in patients with baseline injury grades A or B (according to the American Spinal Injury Association Impairment Scale) in CXCL5, CCL11, CXCL11, IL10, TNFα, and MIF.

Though the research is early-stage, the findings show potential for using serum cytokines to stratify SCI patients without the risk of complications commonly seen from repeated sampling of cerebrospinal fluid.

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  1. S Ogurcov et al., Brain Sci, 11, 322 (2021). PMID: 33806460.
About the Author
Liv Gaskill

During my undergraduate degree in psychology and Master’s in neuroimaging for clinical and cognitive neuroscience, I realized the tasks my classmates found tedious – writing essays, editing, proofreading – were the ones that gave me the greatest satisfaction. I quickly gathered that rambling on about science in the bar wasn’t exactly riveting for my non-scientist friends, so my thoughts turned to a career in science writing. At Texere, I get to craft science into stories, interact with international experts, and engage with readers who love science just as much as I do.

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