Posted August 10, 2016
The Spinal Cord Injury Research program (SCIRP) continues to fund research along the continuum of care in spinal cord injury, supporting projects with the potential to have a significant impact on outcomes, function, wellness and quality of life for military Service members as well as their caregivers, families and the American public. This summary highlights the 18 research proposals recommended for funding in FY15.
Managing the Acute Injury
Developing methods for noninvasive optical monitoring of spinal cord hemodynamics after acute spinal cord injury and evaluating the effects of early critical care decisions on outcomes after injury are the goals of Translational Research Awards to Brian Kwon, University of British Columbia and to Michael Beattie, University of California, San Francisco. A third Translational Research Award in this area to Candace Floyd, University of Alabama, Birmingham will determine the long-term effects of different surgical management and perfusion strategies on outcomes in an animal model of spinal cord injury. Best practices in the early hemodynamic management of patients after acute spinal cord injury will be evaluated in a Clinical Trial Award to Miriam Treggiari, Oregon Health and Science University while a Clinical Trial Award to Allan Levi, University of Miami, Coral Gables will evaluate the effectiveness of systemic hypothermia in acute cervical spinal cord injury.
Therapeutic interventions may have the potential to reduce the scope of injury and improve functional outcomes. An Investigator-Initiated Research Award to Michael Beattie, University of California, San Francisco will test a novel antagonist of p75 neurotrophin receptor for effects on neurological and autonomic health after spinal cord injury while a Translational Research Award to Vinod Labhasetwar, Cleveland Clinic Foundation uses a biodegradable nanoparticle delivering antioxidants to the lesion site to improve recovery of locomotor, neurological and physiological functions. The ability of sacral neuromodulation initiated early after spinal cord injury to improve urinary bladder dynamics will be evaluated in a Clinical Trial Award to Jeremy Myers, University of Utah.
Rehabilitation and Adjustment to Injury
Rehabilitation to restore hand function and improve the ability to reach and grasp is a significant area for the SCIRP in FY15 with Clinical Trial Awards to Edelle Field-Fote, Shepherd Center, Inc. and to Lawrence Horn, Wayne State University, using clinically accessible stimulation and neuromodulation, respectively. An Investigator-Initiated Research Award to Jacqueline Sagen, Miami University, Coral Gables, will support early animal studies on a combination of exercise with engineered neural progenitor cell transplants to reduce neuropathic pain after spinal cord injury. Understanding, predicting and preventing life-changing and life-threatening health changes among aging veterans and civilians with spinal cord injury is the focus of a Qualitative Research Award to James Krause, Medical University of South Carolina.
Secondary Effect of Spinal Cord Injury
Secondary effects of spinal cord injury affecting return to function and quality of life for individuals with spinal cord injury are targeted by six of the FY15 SCIRP awards. A Translational Research Award to Bernadette Grayson, University of Mississippi Medical Center examines mechanisms of metabolic disease in a clinically relevant animal model of spinal cord injury. An Investigator-Initiated Research Award to Laura Carbone, Augusta Biomedical Research Corporation evaluates how treatment decisions are made in the management of osteoporotic fractures in Veterans with spinal cord injury while a Translational Research Award to Raymond Grill, University of Mississippi Medical Center, will begin testing of a novel therapeutic agent to prevent or treat osteoporosis in an animal model of spinal cord injury. An Investigatory-Initiated Research Award to Mathew Peterson, James A. Haley VA Medical Center will begin evaluating an automated pressure ulcer monitoring system for Veterans with spinal cord injury. An Investigator-Initiated Research Award to Lique Coolen, University of Mississippi Medical Center will support a study of sensory plasticity and sexual dysfunction in an animal model of spinal cord injury. A treatment for sleep apnea in patients with cervical spinal cord injury is the focus of a Clinical Trial Award to M. Safwan Badr, Wayne State University.
The SCIRP is proud to introduce these FY15 awards and looks forward to reporting on their progress in the years to come.