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Intermittent Hypoxia Elicits Prolonged Restoration of Motor Function in Human SCI

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Annual rept. 30 Sep 2011-29 Sep 2012

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At the University of Wisconsin, progress was made in the second year of this award, although our ability to complete the project was limited by the departure of a key person. Thus, we applied for a no-cost-extension and will be completing the work within this new, three year time frame. The fundamental goal in Wisconsin is to test the hypothesis that repetitive intermittent hypoxia combined with treadmill training significantly increases protein expression of proteins associated with spinal motor plasticity BDNF and its high affinity receptor, TrkB. These assessments will complement behavioral data collected at the University of Saskatchewan, and parallel experiments in humans with SCI at Emory University and the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago. In this second year of the grant, tissues were processed for immunohistochemistry and the extensive densitometry analyis was pursued. Analyses are based on five treatment groups of rats with cervical injuries 1 shelf controls 2 sham surgery 3 daily treadmill training for five days 4 intermittent hypoxia for five days and 5 combined intermittent hypoxia and treadmill training. Groups were collected at six time points, to determine the duration of changes in protein expression. In the next year, we plan to complete immunohistochemical analyses, combine our results with parallel behavioral studies at the two collaborating sites and prepare a manuscript for publication.

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  • Medicine and Medical Research

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