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

pply, creating issues for the delivery of drugs to the area. To study the way in which drugs may move through the system, the researchers used healthy volunteers and injected them with a dye containing the molecule gadolinium, which is roughly the same size as a drug molecule and has magnetic properties enabling them to follow its progress through the body using an MRI scanner.

They found that the molecule moved across the discs in two ways; by diffusion or by being swept through the disc as water moved in and out of it.

As the discs compress when we stand, squeezing water out, the volunteers were studied in two situations loaded down with half their body weight to simulate the effect of being upright and walking around during daytime hours and lying down unloaded to simulate night time sleep conditions.

The results of the study could help to inform the way in which degeneration of the intervertebral discs is medically managed in the future this could mean injecting drugs directly into the discs or the development of slow-release drug delivery methods. Alternatively, knowing how the drug is moved in and out of the discs could help doctors to control the dosage more effectively and to decide the best time of the day to administer the medicine.

The ISSLS Prize for Lumbar Spine Research will be officially awarded to the research team at an event in Miami from May 4 to 5, when they will also present their paper to an audience of peers. Their work will also be published in a special edition of the scientific journal Spine.


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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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