The mathematical modelling of syringomyelia

Paul Harris, C. Hardwidge

Research output: Chapter in Book/Conference proceeding with ISSN or ISBNConference contribution with ISSN or ISBN

Abstract

The work presented here is concerned with constructing a mathematical model of the medical condition syringomyelia. This condition is characterised by the formation of voids or splits in the spinal cord. While the condition is in its early stages the patient may not be aware of it, but as it worsens they can progressively lose the feeling in one or more limbs and it can ultimately lead to the paralysis of the affected limbs. The mechanics of Syringomyelia formation has been the subject of considerable debate. One hypothesis is that the formation and growth of these voids in the spinal cord is primarily due to the forces which result from pressure changes in the fluid which surrounds the cord. In this study we have devised a simple model of the spinal cord which can be solved using the finite element method. Our initial studies were with a simple elastic model but further studies have been conducted with a visco-elastic model which may prove to give a more realistic response of biological type materials under different levels of external loading. This work is at an early stage but the results so obtained so far are encouraging.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Ninth International Conference on Integral Methods in Science and Engineering
Pages119-125
Number of pages7
Publication statusPublished - 2008
EventThe Ninth International Conference on Integral Methods in Science and Engineering - Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada
Duration: 1 Jan 2008 → …

Conference

ConferenceThe Ninth International Conference on Integral Methods in Science and Engineering
Period1/01/08 → …

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  • Cite this

    Harris, P., & Hardwidge, C. (2008). The mathematical modelling of syringomyelia. In The Ninth International Conference on Integral Methods in Science and Engineering (pp. 119-125) http://www.springerlink.com/content/r616504370mv1573/