From neck strengthening for concussion prevention, to validating novel TBI diagnostic tools, to stimulating nerves after severe spinal cord injuries, our research staff are involved in a number of exciting and possibly ground breaking studies with funding from MN State, NIH/DOD, and industry.
Click on the videos below, to learn more about what is currently being done in our lab.
A recent update of our ESTAND research program presented at the U2F Paralysis Conference in Minneapolis
The E-STAND trial was made to formally test the use of epidural spinal cord stimulation for restoring volitional movement in the legs of patients who suffered spinal cord injury and have been unable to move either leg since injury. In addition, the trial was constructed to figure out how to choose stimulation settings that provide the largest improvement in movement.
The E-STAND trial is also hoping to begin to understand how epidural spinal cord stimulation in this patient population can affect blood pressure, heart function, urinary function, and some aspects of cognitive function. This is a multi-site trial, with our lab working exclusively out of the Minneapolis VA hospital. Parties interested in the E-STAND trial may contact the team directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Current brain injury trials rely on outcome measures such as Glasgow Outcome Scale Extended, which capture global phenomena but fail to assess for subtle differences in outcome. Thus, 30 consecutive trials for brain injury therapeutics have failed. Sensitive outcome measures are needed to determine how well patients have recovered from brain injury in order to test therapeutics and prophylactics.
The goal of this study is to develop an objective, multi-modal classification scheme and outcome measure better than what exists for traumatic brain injury based on several measures: (1) blood-based biomarkers (indicates which cell types are damaged), (2) eye tracking (detects mass effect/elevated ICP and pathway disruption), and (3) Radiographic measures of CT and MRI (detect structural abnormalities), and (4) standardized outcome assessments.
The purpose of this single center, prospective, randomized (1:1) double blind, sham-controlled parallel- arm pilot study is to provide initial evidence of use of the non-invasive vagus nerve stimulator for treatment in patients recovering from moderate TBI to improve their clinical recovery. Vagus nerve stimulation is not currently used by clinicians as a therapeutic treatment for concussions or moderate traumatic brain injuries, but is implanted for treatment of medication resistant seizures. Study of the effects of this device is to provide initial evidence of use of the noninvasive vagus nerve stimulator to improve clinical recovery. This is an adjunct to the current standard of care from physical, occupational and speech therapists, guided by the Physical Medicine and Rehab department. The study aims to compare the safety and effectiveness of an active GammaCore treatment against sham treatment.