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An update on degenerative cervical myelopathy

14th July 2021, 19:00 to 20:00 BST


This webinar will provide an update on the current status of degenerative cervical myelopathy. It will cover the basics, provide an update on where current research stands and how this influences clinical decision making.  The webinar will cover the recent international guidelines, and provide evidence of current bottlenecks in the patient pathway in the UK.


Provide participants an understanding of the following.

  1. Basic pathophysiology of DCM: spinal cord compression is the trigger, not the sole cause of DCM
  2. Etiology and prevalence of DCM: DCM may affect 2.3% of adults, 10% of individuals with spinal cord compression
  3. Patients suffer from a wider range of symptoms as has recently been recognised
  4. DCM has devastating impact on quality of life: SF/36 scores are amongst the lowest in chronic conditions
  5. DCM attracts a high societal cost
  6. Surgery is the only validated effective treatment for DCM, more evidence is needed for physiotherapy
  7. If diagnosis is delayed, this delays treatment and this leads to increased long term disability
  8. The amount of cord compression does not correlate with symptom progression
  9. Guidelines propose that surgical decision making needs to prioritise patient symptoms, not imaging

Learning Objectives

By the end of this webinar, attendees should be able to understand:

1. the basic pathophysiology, etiology, prevalence and presentation of DCM
2. the implications that a diagnosis of DCM can cause on quality of life and societal cost
3.that delayed treatment is associated with a poorer outcome
4. that surgery is the only validated effective treatment for DCM; guidelines propose that surgical decision making needs to prioritise patient symptoms, not imaging.

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Dr Mark Kotter MD PhD

Mark is a fellowship trained complex spine neurosurgeon and clinician scientist at the University of Cambridge.   He undertook sub-specialist with Professor Michael Fehlings at the University of Toronto and specialises in spinal cord injury patients.     His research focusses on stem cells, cellular reprogramming and regenerative medicine. A technology developed by his group merging stem cell with synthetic biology has opened up novel opportunities for highly efficient and consistent production of cells for research, drug development and cell therapy.   As a neurosurgeon, Mark seeks to develop novel regenerative medicine approaches; supported by his Clinician Scientist Award from the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) and in collaboration with Myelopathy.org and MediciNova, one of these approaches is currently tested in RECEDE Myelopathy, the first regenerative medicine trial for degenerative cervical myelopathy, a common and disabling disease affecting the spinal cord.     

He is the founder of bit.bio, co-founder of cultured meat startup Meatable, and co-founder and trustee of Myelopathy.org, the first charity dedicated to a common yet often overseen condition causing a 'slow motion spinal cord injury'.


Mario Ganau is a consultant neurosurgeon at Oxford University Hospitals with interest in neurotrauma and complex spine surgery. This interest not only includes the surgical aspect of both subspecialties, but also extends to the related clinical and pre-clinical research. He holds a PhD in Nanotechnology and one in Biomedical Engineering, which largely contributed to his extensive research track. Following completion of postgraduate studies as global clinical scholar in research trials at Harvard Medical School, and a spinal fellowship at Toronto University, he moved to Oxford where he has been a key player in the development of a dedicated neurotrauma service.


1 Hour

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A recording of the webinar will be made available on this page in the days following the live broadcast.

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