June 3, 2020
Coimbatore. The Spine research team of Ganga Hospital, headed by Prof.Dr.S.Rajasekaran have been performing pioneering research in the field of spine surgery for which they have been the recipients of many national and international awards.
This year the team has created a record by winning the North American Spine Society Outstanding Research award for the second time consecutively this year.
One of the most prestigious and valued award in spine surgery is the award given jointly by the North American Spine Society (NASS) and the internationally renowned The Spine Journal (TSJ) which has one of the highest impact factor for spine speciality international journals.
The award carries a cash prize of USD 10,000.
In 2019, the Ganga research team from India bagged the award fortheir research work entitled “Inflammaging Determines Health and Disease in Lumbar discs- Evidence from Differing Proteomic Signatures of Healthy, Aging and Degenerating Discs” which analysed at a molecular level the cause for disc degeneration which is the major reason for low back pain.
The research looked at the causative factors of disc disease at cellular level and also the possibility of sub-clinical infection as a potential cause for low back pain.
This was published in The Spine Journal, USA and the paper was also presented in the Annual Meeting in Chicago, 2019.
This year, the team has been awarded the North American Spine Society Outstanding Research award for the second time consecutively for the research on “Uncovering Molecular Targets for Regenerative Therapy in Degenerative Disc Disease: Do Small Leucine-Rich Proteoglycans hold the Key?”
The highlight of the study was to compare the molecular level activity in fetus with young and old adults and to identify proteins and molecules which can act as biomarkers for early degeneration.
Significance of the research
Low back pain significantly reduces the quality of life of nearly 70% of the patients worldwide causing a considerable economic and social impact. Degenerative disc disease is the commonest cause of low back pain. Irrespective of the etiology, the terminal inflammation causes disintegration of the extra cellular matrix resulting in altered spinal biomechanics and chronic low back pain.
While the previous five decades have mainly concentrated on surgical intervention with advanced instruments, research in regenerative medicine to solve the problem has been limited and mainly restricted to animal studies.
The team is a unique and multidisciplinary consisting of spine surgeons (Dr S Rajasekaran, Dr Dilipchand Raja, Dr Vijay Anand, Dr Ajoy Prasad Shetty, Dr Rishi Mugesh Kanna), radiologist (Dr Pushpa), Basic Science Specialists (Dr Raveendran Muthurajan, Dr Chitra Tangavel, Mrs Sharon Nayagam, Mrs Sunmathi and Mrs Steffi)