Exploring Upper Limb Dysfunction After Spinal Cord Injury
Author: Kessler Foundation(i) : Contact: kesslerfoundation.org
- A five-year grant from National Institute on Disability, Independent Living, and Rehabilitation Research funds multi-site study of intermittent hypoxia in spinal cord injury.
Kessler Foundation has been awarded an $857,600 sub-award from the Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Community Living, National Institute on Disability, Independent Living, and Rehabilitation Research (NIDILRR), to study a promising new intervention for upper limb dysfunction after spinal cord injury (SCI).
The study, "A Multi-Center Clinical Trial to Evaluate the Effectiveness of Intermittent Hypoxia Therapy in Individuals with Spinal Cord Injury (SCI)," is being conducted by an experienced team of scientists and clinicians at three leading SCI rehabilitation institutions:
- Shirley Ryan AbilityLab (lead investigator,
- William Zev Rymer, MD, PhD),
- Kessler Foundation (Gail Forrest, PhD; Steven Kirshblum, MD),
- The University of Miami (Monica A. Perez, PT, PhD).
The total awarded for the five-year federal grant is $4.5 million.
Dr. Gail Forrest, principal investigator, is associate director of Human Performance and Engineering Research at Kessler Foundation - Photo Credit: Kessler Foundation.
Acute intermittent hypoxia (AIH) is a new strategy that may have the potential to increase neuroplasticity in individuals with injuries of the spinal cord. Scientists plan to test whether repetitive administration of AIH can result in better hand and arm function in individuals with incomplete cervical SCI.
"This is an exciting project that may change the way we think about rehabilitation for spinal cord injury," said Dr. Kirshblum, senior medical officer and chief of SCI Rehabilitation at Kessler Institute for Rehabilitation.
"AIH stimulates the synthesis and release of specific spinal proteins that increase neural plasticity and improve muscle contractions. This effect could augment the results we achieve with traditional rehabilitation therapies."
AIH therapy consists of low-oxygen treatments administered via facemask, according to Dr. Forrest, associate director of Human Performance and Engineering Research at Kessler Foundation.
"We will evaluate AIH alone, and in combination with conventional treatments," explained Dr. Forrest, "including task-specific traditional training, and training with a sensorized robotic device (RAPAEL Smart Glove). We anticipate that combination protocols with AIH will produce better outcomes than conventional therapies alone."
Improving upper limb function in this population could have broader implications, such as increased participation in work and social and community activities.
Funding: NIDILRR grant award number is 90SIMS0001
(i)Source/Reference: Kessler Foundation. Disabled World makes no warranties or representations in connection therewith. Content may have been edited for style, clarity or length.
- 1 - Rebuilding Spinal Cords with Energetic Polymer Scaffold : New Jersey Institute of Technology (2017/11/19)
- 2 - When the Spinal Cord Takes Charge of Information Related to Movement : Salk Institute (2017/12/08)
- 3 - Cell Pores Discovery: Hope for Millions of Brain and Spinal Cord Injury Patients : Aston University (2020/05/17)
- 4 - Human Spine and Spinal Cord Picture C1 - S5 Vertebra : Disabled World (2017/12/01)
- 5 - Working Around Spinal Injuries - Spinal Cord Functional Recovery : University of California - Davis (2017/07/26)
- 6 - Cervical Hernias Can Cause Brain Damage Research Reveals : Network of Valencian Universities for the promotion of Research (2020/01/17)
- 7 - Reflex Control Could Improve Walking after Incomplete Spinal Injuries : National Institutes of Health (NIH) (2013/03/10)
• Disabled World is strictly a news and information website provided for general informational purpose only and does not constitute medical advice. Materials presented are in no way meant to be a substitute for professional medical care by a qualified practitioner, nor should they be construed as such. Any 3rd party offering or advertising on disabled-world.com does not constitute endorsement by Disabled World.
• Please report outdated or inaccurate information to us.