Completed Research Studies

19. Title: Physiologic measures of improvement following SCI Interventions, a Basic Science Research Project

Purpose: The primary goal of this research project is to investigate changes in lower motor neuron physiology following thoracic spinal cord injury (SCI).

Principal Investigator: Anthony S. Burns, MD
Co-Investigator(s): Alan R. Tessler, MD

Background: The primary goal of this research project is to investigate changes in lower motor neuron physiology following thoracic spinal cord injury (SCI).

Evidence in the medical literature suggests that withdrawal of upper motor neuron input can significantly impact lower motor neuron function. This has significant implications for the treatment of SCI.

Any treatment targeted to restore descending upper motor neuron function is dependent on the preserved viability of previously isolated lower motor neurons.

In this project, investigators are attempting to learn about the physiology of injury to upper motor neurons and how they affect the function of lower motor neurons. Researchers want to answer the question: What happens to lower motor neurons when upper motor neurons are injured? In order to answer this, they need to create a model of injury as a way to study that model as the injury recovers over time.

For this project, the investigators chose to use a radiologic study called Magnetic Resonance Imaging to assess injury because it is believed to be a sensitive and objective measurement tool.

Status: Study Completed

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