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Minnesota SCI Research

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  • Minnesota SCI Research

    Here is an update of research going on in Minnesota. The state research grant has funded its second round of research.

    Currently, there is a group of researchers out of the University of Minnesota that are studying epidural stimulation. They are close to beginning implanting these stimulators. Between the two studies being conducted they are going to be studying 13-20 people. The reason for the variability of patient size is the cost of the stimulators and the ability to fund or get them donated. They are going to send out information when the time is right through this email form.

    The two other studies being funded by the grant program are studying iPSC's with a scar ablation compound in rodents in partnership with the state grant program and the Spinal Cord Society, as well as a non motororized energy storing exoskeleton with FES.

    There is also an epidural stimulation study being done at the Mayo clinic which should start soon. I believe they are only recruiting from their previous patient list so they can have complete medical history records of the study population. They are developing a new stimulator which I think this early stimulator research is a precursor to setting up a program for this.

  • #2
    This is great. I thought only Dr. Edgerton and Harkema were doing these things.


    • #3
      Originally posted by scimike View Post
      This is great. I thought only Dr. Edgerton and Harkema were doing these things.
      Here is a LINK with the beginning videos with Peter Grahn, Dr. Kendall Lee and Dr. Carmen Terzic.

      Here's additional information on the work of Peter Grahn.
      Last edited by GRAMMY; 07-27-2016, 12:31 PM.


      • #4
        iPSC's with a scar ablation compound? This is news to me, this is the main thing I'm interested in. So they're going to completely remove the scar surgically interesting! I believe the clinical trial in China with the scaffold is or was attempting the same thing after some kind of injection made the healthy and dead tissue easily distinguishable. Is that what these IPSC's.

        Having said that the nonmotorized FES exoskeleton could be a amazing addition on the side of intensive functional rehabilitation needed after any kind of treatment for chronic spinal cord injury. I just hope the frequency and everything is very adjustable so The electric stim can be quick and strong enough to be of great benefit, I remember reading that the basic FES bike may actually be hindering in regards to functional gait returns,because the frequency for the electric stimulation was not adequate.

        "He proposes several far-reaching hypotheses that have enormous implications for rehabilitation, i.e. that timing of electrical activity impinging on individual neurons or parts of neurons contribute to strengthening or weakening of synapses. When activity are closely synchronizing, coinciding within 10's of milliseconds of each other, this results in strengthening of the synapses. The activity should be rapid (100 Hz) and repetitive. When activity don't coincide at low frequencies (1 Hz), synapses are weakened. "

        "Dr. Poo emphasized the importance of task-specific rehabilitation, pointing out that much evidence suggests that just increasing activity of the legs will not cause recovery of function. James Fawcett in a lecture that followed Dr. Poo's lecture provided much more evidence and detail concerning this point. If one stimulated the system so that the incoming activity do not synchronize but are discordant by more than tens of milliseconds, such stimulation can cause depression or loss of learning. Please note that functional electrical stimulation (FES) is typically slow (<1 Hz) and may not produce properly synchronized activity to reinforce locomotor function and may even interfere with learned locomotor function. "

        -Dr. Wise Young

        So considering an exoskeleton would very much be task specific rehabilitation, imagine what it could do if the FES in the skeleton was rapid enough to reach 100 Hz. However if it's just normal basic FES like the bikes a exoskeleton with that FES could just be counterproductive

        Of ALL my the reading on SCI I believe dr Young's Analysis from this meeting back in China 2013 to be the most comprehensive and informative. I've read it over many time. It doesn't talk about starting clinical trials, it doesn't talked about fancy stem cells it just break down how we need to stimulate our system to create desired reaction's that will re waken it leading to recovery. It was this thread that leads me to strongly believe that at this point the only epidural stimulation trial heading in the right direction is Edgertons why because he and his team have developed a device that is very adaptable, with far more leads and far more capabilities. And they are developing specific algorithms at Caltech to look at targeting and generating stimulation of specific neurons for synaptic responses for certain functions to hopefully one day soon make protocols for each individual function! Basically seems like the closest approach to do what Dr. Poo is talking about. And I hope they are able to figure out these algorithmsbecause this is likely the only way we're going to get substantial function, No matter what they put into our spinal cord! Injury is no longer the only problem in chronic patients.

        They are the only ones trying to map that out at this point. Med Tronics device is a glorified basic tens unit which is probably why Harkema is starting to look at other approaches. Still look what that simplistic device, did for those five or six patients. NRT all the way.

        Now imagine we have the correct spinal stimulation, as well as the specific muscle stimulation at the perfect frequencies for both well doing task specific rehabilitation all synchronizing together at the same time.
        Last edited by JamesMcM; 07-28-2016, 02:10 PM.


        • #5
          Originally posted by JamesMcM View Post
          iPSC's with a scar ablation compound? This is news to me, this is the main thing I'm interested in.
          Here is a post explaining some background...