Terrible Costs of Spinal Cord Injuries – Society, Family & Patient

Posted by on Oct 16, 2011 in Blog | 2 comments

Terrible Costs of Spinal Cord Injuries – Society, Family & Patient

Spinal Cord Injuries (SCI)

According to French et al (2007), there are approximately 253,000 Americans living with a spinal cord injury (SCI)           disability and about 11,000 SCI hospitalizations occurring per annum. The annual cost of SCI is estimated at $9.7                 billion.

There is significant variation in the average annual health care and living costs, reflecting the severity of injury. First-         year injury costs vary from $218,504 (incomplete motor function) to $741,425 (high tetraplegia; C1–C4 injuries) in May  2006 dollars.

Spinal Cord Injury / Neuropathological Disease

Spinal cord injury or trauma to the spinal column can dislocate vertebrae damaging the spinal cord.The result of an incomplete or complete spinal cord lesion is paralysis. In the United States, the incidence is 1 in every 1,000 persons per year with an estimated 400,000 patients with spinal cord injuries. The leading causes of spinal cord injuries are motor vehicle accidents, sports-related accidents, falls and violence. The spinal cord can be subject to ischemia and these patients can be left with paraplegia as a complication after surgery on the aorta. A variety of diseases also affect the spinal cord leading to the death of spinal cord cells.

Death of spinal cord cells after spinal cord injuries is due both to the initial trauma as well as subsequent apoptosis.

Future therapies

Future therapies that are able to effectively balance apoptosis process within these cellular events may prove useful in spinal cord injury (Beattie et al 2006).

About the author

Myron Pyzyk is the Principal Consultant and CEO of Marenon Consulting. He has over 20 years of experience in the pharmaceutical, nutraceutical & biotech industries. Mr. Pyzyk holds a B.Sc in psychology from the University of Alberta (Edmonton, Canada) and a graduate degree (M.S.) in clinical nutrition from the University of Bridgeport, Connecticut.


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