Published: 16-06-2022 09:07 | Updated: 16-06-2022 09:08

New thesis on chronic spinal cord injury, and a late complication with the development of expanding cysts in the spinal cord, so-called post-traumatic syringomyelia

Hi Tingting Xu, PhD student at the division of neurogeriatrics, NVS. On June 20 you will defend your thesis ”Neural stem cell therapy and inflammation status of post-traumatic syringomyelia”, what's the main focus of the thesis?

Tingting Xu, PhD student at the division of neurogeriatrics, NVS. Photo: Xiaofei Li

The focus of my PhD thesis is to demonstrate the safety and efficacy of neural stem cell therapy in one type of chronic spinal cord injury-post-traumatic syringomyelia. In addition, explore the unknown factors that could contribute to the development of post-traumatic syringomyelia. 

Which are the most important results?  

We found that the transplanted cells effectively prevent cyst expansion which is the critical pathology of post-traumatic syringomyelia. Moreover,  the inflammation and astrocytic scar at the lesion site were also reduced by transplanted cells. For the mechanism investigation, we found that inflammation might play a role in the progression of post-traumatic syringomyelia as we observed a higher number of inflammatory cells and expression of inflammation-related genes in post-traumatic syringomyelia than its primary disease, spinal cord injury using the method of single nuclei RNA sequencing. 

How can this new knowledge contribute to the improvement of people’s health?  

The efficiency and safety of clinically relevant neural stem cells in the clinically relevant animal of post-traumatic syringomyelia allow further advancement of the clinical translation. 

What´s in the future for you? Will you keep on conducting research?  

I will mainly work in clinic as a physician in the neurology department, but I will definitely continue to do research, which is very essential for the development of medicine.