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Plasticity and Activation of Spared Intraspinal Respiratory Circuits Following Spinal Cord Injury

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Technical Report,29 Sep 2014,28 Sep 2017

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University of Florida Gainesville United States

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The goal of this project is to determine whether electrical stimulation of the spinal cord can reduce respiratory dysfunctions occurring after mid-to-high cervical spinal cord injuries cSCI. Our primary emphasis is on intraspinal microstimulation ISMSof the phrenic circuit using physiologically-appropriate, endogenous respiratory signals to trigger activation of the phrenicmotoneuron PhMN pool following a cSCI above the level of the phrenic nucleus at spinal levels C3-C56 in adult rats. A major accomplishment of our studies is demonstration of proof-of-concept for our closed-loop strategy before and after a spinal hemi section at C2 which results in immediate paralysis of the ipsilateral hemi diaphragm. Our studies have established that ISMS at the level of the PhMN can effectively activate diaphragm motor units following high cSCI even beyond when stimulation ended. Per comments from our proposals initial review, we also began looking at the efficacy of high frequencyopen-loop spinal epidural stimulation. Our data indicate this approach is not as effective at selectively activating inspiratory diaphragm phrenic motor units. These and other areas of progress lend considerable initial strength to the potential therapeutic value of closed-loop ISMS activation of respiratory circuits caudal to SCI.

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  • Medicine and Medical Research

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