Current Research Studies

1. Title: A Study Using Magnetic Stimulation and Imaging to Identify Areas of the Brain that Control Muscles in People with and without Spinal Cord Injuries

Purpose: We hope to learn how the brain changes after spinal cord injury. We want to learn the following:

  • Which areas of the brain control which parts of the body after spinal cord injury.
  • How the brain and spinal cord change after someone has a spinal cord injury.
  • If different treatments can change the connections between brain and spinal cord for someone with a spinal cord injury.

Principal Investigator: Therese Johnston, PT, PhD, MBA


2. Title: Characterizing the Experience of Spasticity After Spinal Cord Injury

Purpose: To assess how spasticity is experienced by individuals with SCI, which characteristics of spasticity have the greatest impact on activities of daily living and the perceived value of current treatment strategies. We hope that our study will guide future research to look at very individualized spasticity management.

Principal Investigators: Edelle Field-Fote, PT, PhD, FAPTA and Brock Bowman, MD


3. Title: Stakeholder Perceptions and Clinical Assessment of Cardiometabolic Disease/Syndrome After Spinal Cord Injury

Purpose: It is known that risks for heart and blood vessel disease (atherosclerosis) and abnormal sugar metabolism (diabetes) are elevated after SCI. The investigators don’t know whether individuals were ever told by their physician if have these risks, or currently have these risks. We are interested to determine if individuals with SCI are overweight, have abnormal sugar metabolism (insulin resistance or diabetes), have blood pressure that is too high or have blood fats that are outside of acceptable ranges. This information will be measured and compared with the individuals’ clinical report of their physician’s or other health care professionals (nurses or therapists) advice of having these risks. As these risks may change with time after SCI, the Investigators are also interested in seeing whether this information changes after one and two years of living with a SCI.


4. Title: Interactive Telehealth and Biofeedback Sensor System for Pressure Ulcer Prevention After SCI

Purpose: Evaluate the efficacy of the Pressure Relief Exercise Sensor System (PRESS) for establishing effective pressure relief behaviors and reducing rates of pressure ulcer development in persons with recent SCI who use a manual wheelchair.


5. Title: Determinants of Upper Extremity Functional Capabilities in Tetraplegia

Purpose: This study is intended to enhance the understanding of what constitutes a clinically meaningful change in upper extremity neurological function after cervical spinal cord injury. We will examine relationships among neurologic function, upper extremity capabilities, use of adaptive equipment, and performance of self-care and fine motor skills.

Principle Investigator: Ralph J. Marino, MD



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