Article: Spinal Cord Infarction Information Page

What is Spinal Cord Infarction?


Spinal cord infarction is a stroke either within the spinal cord or the arteries that supply it. It is caused by arteriosclerosis or a thickening or closing of the major arteries to the spinal cord. Frequently spinal cord infarction is caused by a specific form of arteriosclerosis called atheromatosis, in which a deposit or accumulation of lipid-containing matter forms within the arteries. Symptoms, which generally appear within minutes or a few hours of the infarction, may include intermittent sharp or burning back pain, aching pain down through the legs, weakness in the legs, paralysis, loss of deep tendon reflexes, loss of pain and temperature sensation, and incontinence.

Is there any treatment?

Treatment is symptomatic. Physical and occupational therapy may help individuals recover from weakness or paralysis. A catheter may be necessary for patients with urinary incontinence.

What is the prognosis?

Recovery depends upon how quickly treatment is received and how severely the body is compromised. Paralysis may persist for many weeks or be permanent. Most individuals have a good chance of recovery.

What research is being done?

NINDS conducts and supports research on disorders of the spinal cord such as spinal cord infarction, aimed at learning more about these disorders and finding ways to prevent and treat them.

Select this link to view a list of studies currently seeking patients.

Organizations

Christopher Reeve Paralysis Foundation/ Paralysis Resource Center
500 Morris Avenue
Springfield, NJ   07081
info@crpf.org; research@crpf.org
http://www.christopherreeve.org
Tel: 973-379-2690 800-225-0292
Fax: 973-912-9433

National Spinal Cord Injury Association
6701 Democracy Blvd.
#300-9
Bethesda, MD   20817
info@spinalcord.org
http://www.spinalcord.org
Tel: 301-214-4006 800-962-9629
Fax: 301-881-9817

Paralyzed Veterans of America (PVA)
801 18th Street, NW
Washington, DC   20006-3517
info@pva.org
http://www.pva.org
Tel: 202-USA-1300 (872-1300) 800-424-8200
Fax: 202-785-4452

 


Source: National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke
Cache Date: December 16, 2004

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