Neurophysiological studies of spinal cord trauma (Winkler): A spinal cord injury
will be followed by an immediate loss of conduction in the spinal cord, the
spinal shock. Some minutes later the secondary injury will lead to a destruction
of gray matter followed by a white matter involvement. In an animal model,
where longitudinal incisions were made to inflict a controlled injury, the
factors involved in the mechanisms responsible for spinal shock and secondary
injury have been studied using evoked potential recordings. Several pharmacological
substances have also been tested regarding the possibility to partially or
completely abolish the spinal shock and the secondary pathological changes.
Among the substances inhibiting the pathological mechanisms, one could mention
the serotonin synthesis inhibitor PCPA, the prostaglandin synthesis inhibitor
indometacin and different receptor blockers such as naloxone (opiate receptor),
cimetidine (histamine receptor), diazepam (benzodiazepine receptor), phentolamine
(alfareceptor) and propranolol (betareceptor).