Degenerative Cervical Myelopathy

woman holding the back of her neck in pain

The Degenerative Cervical Myelopathy (DCM) JLA PSP is part of a wider international project, RECODE. RECODE-DCM stands for REsearch Objectives and Common Data Elements for Degenerative Cervical Myelopathy. The project aims to improve efficient use of health care resources within the field of DCM by using a multi-stakeholder consensus process to define the DCM research priorities (the JLA PSP) and to develop a minimum dataset for DCM clinical studies, and confirm a definition of DCM.

DCM is a condition where ‘wear and tear’ arthritis (‘degenerative’) affects the part of the spine in your neck (‘cervical’), causing structural changes that compress and damage your spinal cord (‘myelopathy’). DCM is also known as 'cervical spondylotic myelopathy' or 'cervical stenosis’. DCM is a common disease, estimated to affect up to 5% of people over the age of 40. Despite this, there many questions regarding its cause and treatment that are not yet fully understood. Unfortunately, it is also disabling, with very few patients making a full recovery and therefore being left with problems such as pain, difficult using their hands or difficulty walking.

In order to improve the lives of those affected, we need to gain a better understanding of the condition. The PSP hopes to do so with the help of patients, their supporters, researchers, doctors, surgeons and allied health professionals. RECODE-DCM hopes to inform the focus of future DCM research through our aims:

  1. Establish a standardised definition for DCM.
  2. Create a list of unanswered DCM research questions, ranked according to priority.
  3. Create a standardised set of baseline characteristics and outcomes we should be measuring in DCM research.

Who can take part?

All patients with Degenerative Cervical Myelopathy, their supporters or carers, doctors and surgeons who treat patients with DCM, and allied health professionals (nurses, physiotherapists, etc.) who look after patients with DCM.

What will happen with the results?

After gathering the questions about DCM, the PSP will categorise them and establish which ones are unanswered. These questions will be sent back to the participants in order to determine the top priorities. The end result will be a top 10 list of questions for research agreed by patients, carers, doctors, surgeons and allied health professionals.

All participants will have the opportunity to be recognised as a PubMed-citable collaborator on all study publications

Key documents