Spinal cord injury (SCI) is a distressing neurological condition that causes loss of neural tissue, with subsequent damages to neural circuitry, and loss of sensorimotor function. The SCIs have an estimated incidence rate of ~80 cases per million populations. Till date, no ratified effective therapeutic strategy for SCIs exist; however, recent advancements in regenerative medicines to protect and regenerate damaged/lost neural tissues following SCIs have shown promising results in preclinical and clinical trials. Moreover, there is a greater need to fully understand underlying mechanisms following cellular transplantation that can be achieved through proper differentiation of desired cell type, and their in-vivo tracking of migration, proliferation and integration into the host system. Furthermore, techniques that can prevent teratomas formation following cellular transplantation have been reported. In addition to the ongoing comprehensive neuroregenerative and neuroprotective therapeutic strategies for SCIs, novel technologies are emerging including neuroscience-based computational and robotic rehabilitational therapies. These improved strategies in combination with cell-based therapeutic approaches are opening new avenues for future research to completely cure SCIs. Herein, we intended to review pathophysiological mechanisms following SCI, preclinical and clinical updates of cellular transplantation, the extent of success from these transplantations, associated controversies and other emerging technologies.
Part of the book: Essentials of Spinal Cord Injury Medicine