Neuroprotective Role of Hypothermia in Acute Spinal Cord Injury

Hasan Al-Nashash, Angelo H. All*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Even nowadays, the question of whether hypothermia can genuinely be considered therapeutic care for patients with traumatic spinal cord injury (SCI) remains unanswered. Although the mechanisms of hypothermia action are yet to be fully explored, early hypothermia for patients suffering from acute SCI has already been implemented in clinical settings. This article discusses mea-sures for inducing various forms of hypothermia and summarizes several hypotheses describing the likelihood of hypothermia mechanisms of action. We present our objective neuro-electrophysiological results and demonstrate that early hypothermia manifests neuroprotective effects mainly during the first-and second-month post-SCI, depending on the severity of the injury, time of intervening, dura-tion, degree, and modality of inducing hypothermia. Nevertheless, eventually, its beneficial effects gradually but consistently diminish. In addition, we report potential complications and side effects for the administration of general hypothermia with a unique referment to the local hypothermia. We also provide evidence that instead of considering early hypothermia post-SCI a therapeutic approach, it is more a neuroprotective strategy in acute and sub-acute phases of SCI that mostly delay, but not entirely avoid, the natural history of the pathophysiological events. Indeed, the most crucial rationale for inducing early hypothermia is to halt these devastating inflammatory and apoptotic events as early and as much as possible. This, in turn, creates a larger time-window of opportunity for physicians to formulate and administer a well-designed personalized treatment for patients suffering from acute traumatic SCI.

Original languageEnglish
Article number104
Number of pages13
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 4 Jan 2022

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Medicine (miscellaneous)

User-Defined Keywords

  • general hypothermia
  • hypothermia complications
  • hypothermia mechanisms of action
  • local hypothermia
  • neuroprotection
  • spinal cord injury models


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