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NINDS Disorders is an index of neurological conditions provided by the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. This valuable tool offers detailed descriptions, facts on treatment and prognosis, and patient organization contact information for over 500 identified neurological disorders.

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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.

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.

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.

Research

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.

View a list of studies currently seeking patients.

View more studies on this condition.

Organizations

Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation

The Reeve Foundation is dedicated to curing spinal cord injury by funding innovative research, and improving the quality of life for people living with paralysis through grants, information and advocacy.

636 Morris Turnpike
Suite 3A
Short Hills, NJ 07078
Tel: 973-379-2690 800-225-0292
Fax: 973-912-9433

National Spinal Cord Injury Association

The National Spinal Cord Injury Association is dedicated to improving the quality of life for hundreds of thousands of Americans living with the results of spinal cord injury and disease (SCI/D) and their families. NSCIA, educates and empowers survivors of SCI/D to achieve and maintain the highest levels of independence, health and personal fulfillment.

75-20 Astoria Blvd
Suite 120
East Elmhurst, NY 11370-1177
Tel: 800-962-9629
Fax: 866-387-2196

Paralyzed Veterans of America (PVA)

Non-profit organization dedicated to serving the needs of its members—more than 19,000 veterans paralyzed by spinal cord injury or disease, as well as caregivers and others affected by these disabilities—through advocacy, education, and research programs.

801 18th Street, NW
Washington, DC 20006-3517
Tel: 202-USA-1300 (872-1300) 800-555-9140
Fax: 202-785-4452

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