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Traumatic lesions to the spinal cord

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Published: 27 Apr 2006

Julie Snyder and Pierre-Alexandre Rousseau present a cheque for $112,000 to MUHC project.

Julie Snyder, a well-known producer and television host, and Pierre-Alexandre Rousseau, a World Cup freestyle skier and victim of a serious neck injury, and both spokespersons for the Spinal Cord Research Foundation (SCRF), presented a cheque today, in the amount of $112,000, to the McGill University Health Centre (MUHC). This donation is a contribution to the establishment of a clinical research unit for the cure of traumatic lesions to the spinal cord. The donation was made in the presence of Alexandre Poce, attorney and General Manager of the SCRF, and François Alepin, attorney and Chairman of the Board of the SCRF.

With this donation, the SCRF wants to encourage the MUHC in its commitment to being a key international player in research for a cure for spinal cord injuries. Alexandre Poce explains: "The MUHC has a first-rate team of researchers in the area of neurology and we are very happy that our Foundation can support and help them progress in their work. Besides being an encouraging gesture for the research team, our donation is also a gesture of hope for all the victims of medullar trauma."

During the press conference, which was held at the Montreal General Hospital, Dr Judith Marcoux, an MUHC neurosurgeon and one of the research unit's key personnel, presented an outline of the innovative work to be carried out at the centre: "Spinal cord injury repair is a very complex challenge because the nerve fibres of the central nervous system do not regenerate after trauma. In collaboration with other research groups from here and abroad, we will work to find solutions and eventually help spinal cord injury victims to recover their motility."

MUHC researchers have started to build bridges with institutions already doing clinical research with medullary trauma casualties. Among these are the North American Clinical Trials Network, which counts five clinical research centres and one biostatistics centre in the USA and Canada financed by the Christopher Reeve Foundation, and the International Campaign for Cures of Spinal Cord Injury Paralysis, a group of international clinical researchers whose mission is to propose standards for clinical research on the spinal cord.

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