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Cardiovascular: Proof of Principle

Hypothesis: Epidural stimulation at spinal cord segments L1–S1 with specific targeted cardiovascular configurations can increase resting blood pressure and attenuate orthostatic hypotension in individuals with chronic cervical SCI.


Cardiovascular Epidural Stimulation identification and individualization

  • Goal: To maintain relatively stable 110-120 mmHg blood pressure within non-injured defined normal ranges for 2 hours without eliciting motor activity
  • Research participants: Four participants with chronic cervical SCI and baseline cardiovascular dysfunction Orthostatic hypotension or Persistent low resting blood pressure


March 8,2018

Normalization of Blood Pressure With Spinal Cord Epidural Stimulation After Sever Spinal Cord Injury

Susan Harkema, Siqi Wang, Claudia Angeli, Yangsheng Chen, Maxwell Boakye, Beatrice Ugiliwenwza, Glenn Hirsch

Our study shows that stimulating dorsal lumbosacral spinal cord can effectively and safely activate mechanisms to elevate blood pressures to a normal range from a chronic hypotensive state in humans with severe SCI with individual specific CV-scES for a limited time period when the stimulation is present







Shown above, systolic blood pressure gradually increased to target range and was maintained during 60 minutes of activation of stimulation (Stim ON) with minimal adjustment in stimulation amplitude, compared with baseline without stimulation (Stim OFF).

Heart rate generally showed an inverse relationship with systolic blood pressure.

Whole Body Systems Neuromodulation

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Cardiovascular and Respiratory


Proof of Principle

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