AO Spine launches podcast series on top ten research priorities for DCM

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20 October 2020

RECODE-DCM podcast

AO Spine is raising awareness of spinal conditions and promoting spine research now also with podcasts. As our very first podcast series, we are launching the "Top 10 RECODE-DCM research priorities". The episodes are scheduled for release on Tuesdays, from October 20 to December 22, 2020.

Each of the ten episodes will focus on a research priority in turn, featuring interviews and discussion with experts: those who live with the condition, alongside world-leading surgeons, and allied healthcare professionals.

The "AO Spine Research Top 10 from Myelopathy Matters" podcasts will be presented by the RECODE-DCM Co-Principal Investigator Ben Davies and Michelle Starkey, Director of the world’s only myelopathy charity, the Cambridge-based Myelopathy.org. You can find the podcast series on your favourite podcast app (information and links below).

Raising awareness is top priority

The AO Spine REsearch Objectives and COmmon Data Elements for Degenerative Cervical Myelopathy (RECODE-DCM) study aims to improve efficient use of healthcare resources within the field of DCM. The study uses a multi-stakeholder partnership to define the DCM research priorities, to develop a minimum dataset for DCM clinical studies, and to confirm a definition of DCM.

Raising awareness was identified as the number one priority in the consensus process. With the podcast series, AO Spine aims to do exactly that.

There are many barriers to awareness of DCM, ranging from confounding nomenclature, subtle and diffuse early symptoms, to enigmas about the biological basis of the disease. The resulting lack of awareness can lead to long delays in diagnosis, by which time the spinal cord injury is irreversible.

DCM is a progressive slow-motion spinal cord injury, resulting from arthritic changes to the cervical spine. It affects up to 5% of adults over the age of 40, making it the commonest cause of spinal cord injury worldwide. However, it is surprisingly under-researched and under-funded.

The disease presents a huge socio-economic burden and a terrible detriment to quality of life, with many of those affected requiring surgery, unable to return to work, and living with unrelenting pain and disability.

All these topics are to be discussed in detail in the podcasts. More details on the RECODE-DCM study can be found on the website www.aospine.org/recode.


AO Spine Research Top 10 from Myelopathy Matters:

Pilot episode – Introducing AO Spine RECODE-DCM and its aims
October 6, 2020, with Michelle Starkey, Ben Davies, Mark Kotter
Episode 1 – Raising Awareness

October 20, 2020, with Michael Fehlings, Tammy Blizzard, James Milligan, Mark Kotter
Episode 2 – Natural History
October 27, 2020, with Jefferson Wilson, Julia Carter, Brian Kwon
Episode 3 – Diagnostic Criteria
November 3, 2020, with Iwan Sadler, James Harrop, Brian Kwon
Episode 4 – Assessment and Monitoring
November 10, 2020, with Paul Koljonen, Paige Howard, Sukhvinder Kalsi-Ryan
Episode 5 – Biological Basis
November 17, 2020, with Ellen Sarewitz, Mark Kotter, James Fawcett
Episode 6 – Peri-Operative Rehabilitation
November 24, 2020, with Tim Boerger, Armin Curt, Julio Furlan
Episode 7 – Novel Therapies
December 1, 2020, with Ricardo Rodriguez-Pinto, Annie Wandycz, Mark Kotter
Episode 8 – Socio-Economic Impact
December 8, 2020, with Andreas Demetriades, Shirley Widdop, Richard Phillips
Episode 9 – Imaging and Neurophysiology
December 15, 2020, with Bizhan Aarabi, Michael Hillman, Shekar Kurpad
Episode 10 – Individualizing Surgery
December 22, 2020, with Daniel Simpson, James Harrop, Lindsay Tetreault


Listen and subscribe to the AO Spine Research Top 10 from Myelopathy Matters podcasts on:



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