More good news out of UCLA lab on restoring bladder function non-invasive after SCI

A non-invasive method to restore bladder function after a spinal cord injury continues to show progress in the Dr. Daniel Lu laboratory at UCLA.  This experiment showed positive results in 5 people eliminating the need for catheters for up to 4 weeks. (cp)

In UCLA study, magnetic stimulation of lower spine eliminates need for catheter for up to 4 weeks


UCLA neuroscientists, led by Dr. Daniel Lu, stimulated the lower spinal cord through the skin with a magnetic device placed at the lumbar spine.

UCLA Photo Credit:  UCLA neuroscientists, led by Dr. Daniel Lu, stimulated the lower spinal cord through the skin with a magnetic device placed at the lumbar spine.

“More than 80 percent of the 250,000 Americans living with a spinal cord injury lose the ability to urinate voluntarily after their injury. According to a 2012 study, the desire to regain bladder control outranks even their wish to walk again.

In a study of five men whose injuries occurred five to 13 years ago, UCLA neuroscientists stimulated the lower spinal cord through the skin with a magnetic device placed at the lumbar spine. The research is the first to show that the technique enables people with spinal cord injuries to recover significant bladder control for up to four weeks between treatments. The findings are published today in Scientific Reports”.

Scientific Reports at

A Proof-of-Concept Study of Transcutaneous Magnetic Spinal Cord Stimulation for Neurogenic Bladder

Article OPEN Published: 

Scientific Reports volume 8, Article number: 12549 (2018)

We thank Dr. David McArthur for statistical support and Ms. Naomi Gonzalez for logistical support. This study was supported by Department of Defense (DOD) research grant SC103209 and H&H Evergreen Foundation. The experiments were conducted in the UCLA Clinical and Translational Research Center (CTRC), which was supported by NIH/National Center for Advancing Translational Science (NCATS) UCLA CTSI Grant Number UL1TR000124. TN is supported by NIH NINDS R25 Research Education Grant. DCL is a 1999 Paul and Daisy Soros Fellow.

Posted in Chronic Spinal Cord Injury Research, Rehabilitation, Spinal Research | Tagged | 8 Comments

An informative CSPG article out of Robarts Research Institute

One of the important strategies that labs have been focusing on for spinal cord injury has been how to best deal with CSPG (chondroitin sulfate proteoglycans) commonly known as the scar that builds up at the site of injury (lesion) and inhibits regeneration of axons.  The article posted in Journal of Neurotrauma explains what they have found on possible treatments and important issues of where and when a treatment could be applied.   This article from the Arthur Brown lab at Robarts Research Institute in Canada gives a nice summary of the work that has been completed and what scientists know from the hundreds of experiments performed that deal with the problem.   They hope to harness a 2-fold potential of increased neuroplasticity and neuroprotection. (cp)

Todd Hryciw, Nicole M. Geremia, Morgan A. Walker, Xiaoyun Xu, and Arthur Brown
Journal of Neurotrauma
Aug 2018.ahead of print

This work was supported by grants from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR grant no. MOP 133460) and from the Rick Hansen Institute (G-2015-15).

Posted in Chronic Spinal Cord Injury Research, Neuroscience Abstracts, Regenerative Medicine, Spinal Research | Tagged ,

Stem cell lab work continues to show progress

Even though we may be years away from a robust stem cell treatment coming to the market for spinal cord injury, the lab work continues to progress and show great promise.  What we don’t know is; which stem cell will have the most success in bringing about recovery of function.  It is prudent to support and follow the progress in the labs that are working to answer that very question.   (cp)

by University of California, San Diego:  Created Line of Spinal Cord Neural Stem Cells Shows Diverse Promise 

by Nature Methods:  Generation and post-injury integration of human spinal cord neural stem cells

The earlier primate work was report HERE in February.

Posted in Chronic Spinal Cord Injury Research, Regenerative Medicine, Spinal Research, Stem Cell Research | Tagged ,

More concept developments reported from the Courtine lab in Nature

For those following SCI research in the electrical stimulation field, this open access article in Nature Communications is worth a read.  Here, the Gregoire Courtine lab describes the concept and project where brain-controlled modulation coupled with constant stimulation during gait rehabilitation would enhance locomotion.   They were able to show that brain-controlled stimulation enhances voluntary overground walking and even staircase climbing!  The closed circuit loop increased and improved recovery compared with continuous stimulation only being delivered to the spinal cord during gait rehabilitation.    (cp)

LINK to Nature Communications ArticleBrain-controlled modulation of spinal circuits improves recovery from SCI:

Authors: Marco Bonizzato,  Galyna Pidpruzhnykova,  Jack DiGiovannaPolina Shkorbatova,  Natalia PavlovaSilvestro Micera &  Grégoire Courtine

Supplementary Video LINK

Nature Communications volume 9, Article number: 3015 (2018)

Posted in Chronic Spinal Cord Injury Research, Neuroscience Abstracts, Rehabilitation, Spinal Research | Tagged

Working 2 Walk 2018 Registrations Open!

The annual Working 2 Walk symposium is now open for registrations.  Mark your calendars for October 19th & 20th, 2018 in Vancouver, Canada.  Claim your spot at this LINK.  The list of speakers you’ll hear are at this LINK.









Spinal Cord Injury Research and Science can be accessed at the Medium site!  Here’s the new space LINK to follow along if you’re a reader over at Medium.


Posted in Unite 2 Fight Paralysis, Working 2 Walk Science & Advocacy Symposium | 1 Comment

SCI: MRI shows not all sensation is lost

See the Full Article LINK at Neuroscience Research Australia:

Researchers from Neuroscience Research Australia (NeuRA), The University of Sydney, and HammondCare have found surviving sensory nerve connections in areas of no sensation in 50% of people living with complete thoracic spinal cord injuries.

The breakthrough study by Wrigley, Siddall and Gustin used cutting edge functional MRI (fMRI) technology to record neural response to touch. NeuRA’s Dr Sylvia Gustin analysed the fMRI images to identify the moment the patient’s brain registered the touch.

Dr Gustin said seeing the brain light up to touch shows, despite complete injury of the thoracic spine, somatosensory pathways have been preserved.

See the Full Article LINK at Neuroscience Research Australia:

All Sensation is Not Lost in Thoracic Spinal Cord Injuries

Posted in Chronic Spinal Cord Injury Research, Rehabilitation, Spinal Research | Tagged | 2 Comments

Spinal Cord Injury: Is the vagus nerve our neural connectome?

Read the Full Article at eLife Sciences

The vagus nerve reports on the state of many of the organs in our body, including the heart, the lungs and the gut, and it relays this information to various neural control networks that unconsciously regulate internal organs. It has also been shown that artificial electric stimulation of the vagus nerve helps with recovery in animal models of stroke, tinnitus and spinal cord injury (De Ridder et al., 2014Hays, 2016). In particular, stimulation of the vagus nerve promotes the recuperation of motor skills and, maybe, autonomic functions (such as breathing), even when the injuries took place years before the intervention. However, we do not fully understand how stimulating this single nerve can lead to such results.

Now, in eLife, Patrick Ganzer, Robert Rennaker at the University of Texas at Dallas and the Texas Biomedical Device Center, and colleagues, report that stimulating the vagus nerve of a rat with spinal injuries helps it to recover mobility of an affected limb – in this case, its front paw (Ganzer et al., 2018). The stimulation has to be applied during a short time window after the rat manages to perform a specific movement with this paw, such as grasping a lever with a specific level of strength.

Read the Full Article at eLife Sciences

Posted in Chronic Spinal Cord Injury Research, Neuroscience Abstracts, Rehabilitation, Spinal Research | Tagged , | 1 Comment

New strategy with small molecules found for potential complementary therapy to treat SCI

Read this Full Story at Science Digest HERE

Most people with spinal cord injury are paralyzed from the injury site down, even when the cord isn’t completely severed. Why don’t the spared portions of the spinal cord keep working? Researchers at Boston Children’s Hospital now provide insight into why these nerve pathways remain quiet. They also show that a small-molecule compound, given systemically, can revive these circuits in paralyzed mice, restoring their ability to walk.

The study, led by Zhigang He, PhD, in Boston Children’s F.M. Kirby Neurobiology Center, was published online July 19 by the journal Cell.

“For this fairly severe type of spinal cord injury, this is most significant functional recovery we know of,” says He. “We saw 80 percent of mice treated with this compound recover their stepping ability.”


The study was supported by the National Major Project of Research and Development of China (2017YFA0104701), the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NS096294), the Craig Neilsen Foundation, the Paralyzed Veterans of America Research Foundation and the Dr. Miriam and Sheldon G. Adelson Medical Research Foundation.

Posted in Chronic Spinal Cord Injury Research, Gene Therapy, Regenerative Medicine, Spinal Research | Tagged ,

Worldwide licensing agreement made on peptide developed in Silver laboratory at Case Western Reserve University

Read the Full Article at Globe Newswire.  

VANCOUVER, British Columbia, July 18, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — NervGen Pharma Corp. (“NervGen”), in Vancouver, and Case Western Reserve University (“Case Western Reserve”) in Cleveland have entered into an exclusive worldwide licensing agreement to research, develop and commercialize a patented technology with potential to bring new therapies for spinal cord injury and other conditions associated with nerve damage.

The technology was developed in the laboratory of Dr. Jerry Silver, a leading spinal cord injury and regenerative medicine researcher at Case Western Reserve. Dr. Silver’s research has implicated protein tyrosine phosphatase sigma (PTPs) as a key neural receptor which inhibits nerve regeneration through regions of scarring in spinal cord injury and other medical conditions.

Targeted treatment against PTPs with an agent known as ISP promoted regeneration of damaged nerves and functional improvement in animal models for various medical conditions. A series of receptor antagonists that can be delivered systemically have been identified including an analogue of ISP that is ready for clinical development.

NervGen Pharma Website

The research work leading up to this agreement has been covered extensively at this SCI Report site.  For additional presentations and information, you can run through the listings HERE.

Posted in Chronic Spinal Cord Injury Research, Regenerative Medicine, Spinal Research | Tagged , , ,

Nick Terrafranca from NeuroRecovery Technologies

NeuroRecovery Technologies specializes in Spinal Cord Stimulation for spinal cord injury. Nick Terrafranca, CEO, describes the technology and an update on the progress of their research.

Posted in Chronic Spinal Cord Injury Research, Rehabilitation | Tagged ,