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Logo for the Journal of Rehab R&D
Vol. 40 No. 4, July/August 2003, Supplement
Pages 63 — 70

Confirming an experimental therapy prior to transfer to humans: What is the ideal?
W. Dalton Dietrich, PhD
The Miami Project to Cure Paralysis, Department of Neurological Surgery, University of Miami School of Medicine, Miami, FL
Abstract — As the spinal cord injury (SCI) scientific community moves closer to translating experimental data to the clinic, specific steps should be addressed to improve our chances of success. Some of the steps under discussion include animal modeling, clinically relevant endpoints, compelling evidence for improvements, and safety issues. First, it will be beneficial if exciting data are first replicated before findings are considered clinically relevant. Then major findings must be published in peer-reviewed journals so that the scientific community may scrutinize the data. Finally, continued communication between different research groups throughout the world, as well as between basic scientists and clinicians working in the area of SCI, will enhance our progress in this important research field.
Key words: animal models, behavior, electrophysiology, human spinal cord injury (SCI), neuropathology, neuroprotection, outcome measures, replication studies, safety, spinal cord trauma, transplantation.

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