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Diseases of the spinal cord 

Diseases of the spinal cord
Diseases of the spinal cord

Anu Jacob

, and Andrew J. Larner

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date: 28 February 2021

The spinal cord is subject to numerous pathological processes which may be intrinsic (intramedullary) and/or extrinsic (extramedullary) to the cord. Many diseases can affect the spinal cord. Those of particular note include spondylotic myelopathy, multiple sclerosis, transverse myelitis, subacute combined degeneration of the cord, genetic and vascular disorders, syringomyelia, injury/trauma, motor neuron disease, and cancer—the most common spinal cord tumours are metastasis, astrocytoma, ependymoma, lymphoma. Specific medical and surgical treatments are determined by the particular cause of myelopathy. These may arrest progression, but function that has been lost may not recover fully. Prognosis of acute cord compression is directly related to the time delay between symptom onset and relief of compression. Chronic disability as a consequence of spinal cord disease requires intensive neurorehabilitation.

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