Updated:01/16/2020 12: 15h
Compression of the spinal cord caused by cervical hernias not only causes alterations below the lesion, but can also lead to significant brain damage. This is demonstrated by a study carried out by a multidisciplinary team of the Miguel Hernández University (UMH) of Elche and the CIBER of Bioengineering, Biomaterials and Nanomedicine (CIBER-BBN), in collaboration with the Inscanner SL Company and the Hospital Neurosurgery Service University General of Alicante. The study has been published in the scientific journal European Radiology.
Researchers have applied advanced medical neuroimaging tools and techniques to try to better understand what it happens in the brains of chronic patients with compression injuries due to cervical hernias. These techniques have allowed us to study both the cerebral cortex and the white matter nerve fibers and the connection patterns between the different brain areas, which allows to detect unobservable pathological changes in conventional magnetic resonance studies.
"We have shown that there are changes at the brain level and in the communication pathways of brain signals that are manifested primarily by cortical atrophy and damage to the sensory and motor cortex," explains Eduardo Fernández Jover, co-author of the publication and director of the Biomedical Neuroengineering Group of the UMH and CIBER-BBN. "These changes were unknown until now and can help to better understand the clinical evolution of many patients and open new avenues for diagnosis and treatment of this frequent disease," he adds.
Ángela Bernabeu, of the Inscanner SL team and co-author of the work, highlights that «this type of advanced brain neuroimaging studies generate a lot of data of each patient, so they have had to resort to artificial intelligence techniques to analyze all the information ».
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More than 80% of people over 60 have cervical spine wear. Most do not experience symptoms, but sometimes this wear can lead to neck pain and stiffness and also tingling and numbness in the arms. In some cases the legs can also be affected and even walking difficulties may appear, as well as other symptoms such as sphincter control disorders. All these problems are the result of compression of the spinal cord or nerve roots that come out between the vertebrae, so Until now, medical care had focused primarily on what goes under the injuryn.
«In the future, this type of analysis through artificial intelligence could be used to identify patients with operable compressive lesions of the cervical spine and even establish the most appropriate time for surgery »the authors conclude.
(tagsToTranslate) brain damage (t) (t) cervical hernias (t)