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International prize for Nottingham spine research
Date:3/31/2009

A study aimed at overcoming problems with treatments for a common cause of back pain has picked up one of the most prestigious prizes in spinal research.

The research paper produced by the team of surgeons, engineers and physicists at The University of Nottingham has scooped two out of three categories of the annual ISSLS Prize for Lumbar Spine Research.

Awarded by the International Society for the Study of the Lumbar Spine (ISSLS), the accolade is designed to encourage innovative new work in the field and comes with a $15,000 cash prize for each successful researcher or team.

The multi-disciplinary nature of the Nottingham paper, entitled What influence does sustained mechanical load have on diffusion of small solutes in the human intervertebral discs, was recognised when judges decided to honour it in both the bioengineering studies and studies in other basic science areas categories.

The University of Nottingham research team was made up of Dr Donal McNally in the Department of Mechanical, Materials and Manufacturing Engineering, Professor Penny Gowland of the Sir Peter Mansfield Magnetic Resonance Centre in the School of Physics and Astronomy, Brigitte Scammell, head of the department of Orthopaedic and Accident Surgery in the School of Clinical Sciences, Brian Freeman, a former University of Nottingham academic now at the University of Adelaide, and Arun Ranganathan, a former student at The University of Nottingham who is now practising medicine in Newcastle.

The research looked at problems of treating the degeneration of the intervertebral discs the soft discs in between the bones of the spine that allow it to bend and flex which can be caused by lifestyle issues such as smoking and obesity. The disease is the most common reason for absence from work, having a serious impact on the productivity of the UK economy.

The discs form the biggest structure within the body which doesn't have its own blood su
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Contact: Dr Donal McNally
donal.mcnally@nottingham.ac.uk
44-011-584-66375
University of Nottingham
Source:Eurekalert

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