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Project

Repeated transcutaneous stimulation decreases spasticity after SCI

Funder: Craig H Neilsen Foundation

Funding period
USD 300 K
Funding amount
Abstract
Spasticity is a devastating condition which affects ~75% of individuals with spinal cord injury (SCI). As current pharmacological and surgical approaches to decrease spasticity have serious side effects, and impedes conventional rehabilitative efforts, there is an urgent need to identify alternate avenues. The last decade has seen a critical breakthrough in the SCI field with the use of stimulation-based therapies to further modulate the excitability of spinal networks and enhance recovery of motor function after SCI. Most ongoing studies have focused on locomotor and hand motor function, however, individuals with SCI also report improvements in spastic symptoms. We have developed a clinically relevant rat SCI model in which repeated transcutaneous transspinal stimulation (tSCS) after SCI is possible in awake animals. Based on behavioral, neurophysiological evidence, these results will support repeated tSCS as a non-invasive method that 1) prevents the development of spasticity early after injury, 2) decreases spasticity once it has already developed, and 3) evokes long lasting neurological changes that outlast the treatment. We will further identify the mechanisms, both local and suprasegmental, contributing to decreased spinal hyperexcitability with this intervention. Based on our preliminary data, we hypothesize that repeated tSCS decreases local spinal network excitability, and facilitates the integration of multimodal inputs originating from below and above the lesion. Understanding the mechanisms underlying the beneficial effect of non-invasive interventions is critical to optimize clinical intervention and fast-track its use in the SCI community. (CHN: SCIRTS chn:wdg)
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System

Categories
  • FOR (ANZSRC)

    1109 Neurosciences

  • RCDC

    Injury (total) Accidents/Adverse Effects

  • RCDC

    Injury - Trauma - (Head and Spine)

  • RCDC

    Neurosciences

  • RCDC

    Rehabilitation

  • RCDC

    Spinal Cord Injury

  • RCDC

    Neurodegenerative

  • HRCS HC

    Neurological

  • Health Research Areas

    Biomedical

  • Broad Research Areas

    Clinical Medicine and Science