|Scientific interests in the Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Lab are in the development and implementation of neurophysiological methods that measure motor and autonomic output from the central nervous system for use in clinical research to examine recovery from spinal cord injury. Our further interest is to prepare these techniques for use in assessing the effects of new intervention strategies as they emerge from basic science testing. The focus of this work is the study of the functional impairment of respiratory and cardiovascular systems after spinal cord injury and the effects of new rehabilitative strategies including locomotor training, respiratory muscle training and epidural stimulation of the spinal cord.
Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Research
The Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Scientific Core investigates the effects of respiratory muscle training on blood pressure regulation in individuals with Spinal Cord Injury (SCI). Respiration plays an important role in blood pressure regulation by mechanically supporting the blood flow return to the heart and participating in autonomic function.
Pulmonary insufficiency is a common problem among individuals with SCI due to paralysis, muscle weakness and/or spastic contractions of the muscles involved in respiration. Respiratory motor control can be improved by training respiratory muscles. This therapeutic intervention is being investigated as a tool to improve blood pressure regulation in individuals with SCI.
Cardiovascular Recovery with Epidural Stimulation
Funding: The Craig H. Neilsen Foundation/Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation
Recovery of Function, Health & Quality of Life for People with Paralysis
Effectiveness of the Respiratory Muscle Training on Improvement of Orthostatic Tolerance in Individuals with Spinal Cord Injury
Respiratory Motor Control & Blood Pressure Regulation After a Spinal Cord Injury
Funding: National Institute of Health