Spinal Cord Injury Studies

Participate in Studies at Shepherd Center

See the list below to learn more about current spinal cord injury clinical trials and studies at Shepherd Center.

To be considered for participation in current and future research studies, complete and submit our Spinal Cord Injury (SCI) Research Intake Form.

Principal Investigator

Edelle Field-Fote, PT, Ph.D., FAPTA, FASIA

About this Study

Spasticity involves involuntary muscle activity in persons with spinal cord injury (SCI) that can include increased response to muscle stretch and physical touch, as well as muscle stiffness. Due to the combination of symptoms, several drug therapies are currently prescribed to reduce spasticity but they may have negative side effects including fatigue and muscle weakness. Transcutaneous spinal stimulation (TSS) is a form of electrical stimulation delivered over the skin of the spine that seems to have effects that are similar to drug therapy. Prior studies of TSS in persons with SCI suggest that TSS can reduce spasticity without negative side effects. The intensity of stimulation, or dose, that promotes the best response is not known. In addition, sensitive measurements are necessary to assess the changes that can be seen in multiple presentations of spasticity. Understanding the response to different intensities of stimulation and how they affect spasticity will help guide rehabilitation for persons with SCI. Therefore, this study aims to identify the effects of TSS as a non-drug intervention for spasticity management.

Participation Eligibility

  • A SCI with any severity classification (AIS A, B, C, or D) that occurred at least three months ago
  • At least mild "spasticity" affecting lower extremity muscles
  • Use of prescription medications is acceptable, as long as the dosage has not changed in the last two weeks and notification of medication changes is made during study participation
  • Ability to follow multiple commands
  • Ability to communicate pain or discomfort
  • Ability and willingness to authorize the use of protected health information
  • Ability and willingness to reside in Atlanta for the duration of the study

More Information

More information about this clinical trial is available at SCITrialsFinder.net. If interested in participating, please contact one of our research staff below.

Evan Sandler, PT, DPT
evan.sandler@shepherd.org
404-603-4175

Alyssa Tamburrino, PT, DPT
alyssa.tamburrino@shepherd.org
404-350-7638

Principal Investigator

Edelle Field-Fote, PT, Ph.D., FAPTA, FASIA

About this Study

For many people with spinal cord injury (SCI), the goal of walking is a high priority. There are many approaches available to restore walking function after SCI; however, these approaches often involve extensive rehabilitation training and access to facilities, qualified staff, and advanced technology that make practicing walking at home difficult. For this reason, developing training approaches that could be easily performed in the home would be of great value. In addition, non-invasive spinal stimulation has the potential to increase the effectiveness of communication between the brain and spinal cord. Combining motor skill training with spinal stimulation may further enhance the restoration of function in persons with SCI. Therefore, the purpose of this study is to determine if moderate-intensity, motor skill training can improve walking-related outcomes among persons with SCI and to determine if the addition of non-invasive spinal stimulation will result in greater improvements in function compared to training alone.

Participation Eligibility

  • A spinal cord injury (neurological level T12 or above)
  • That occurred at least 3 months ago (sub-acute to chronic)
  • SCI severity (AIS) classification C or D
  • Ability to stand for at least 5 minutes (with or without an assistive device)
  • Ability to move each leg independently for at least 3 steps
  • Ability to rise from sit to stand with no more than moderate assistance from one person
  • Ability and willingness to consent and authorize use of personal health information
  • Ability and willingness to reside in Atlanta for the duration of the study

More Information

More information about this clinical trial is available at SCITrialsFinder.net. If interested in participating, please contact one of our research staff below.

Jacob Creech, PT, DPT
jacob.creech@shepherd.org
678-877-9572

Nicholas Evans, MHS, CEP
nicholas.evans@shepherd.org

About this Study

We are currently recruiting participants for a study called Project Workout on Wheels Internet Intervention (WOWii). Project WOWii examines how useful and effective an online format is for helping people with SCI get more exercise over four months. Eligible participants will meet over Zoom weekly for 16 weeks and work through weekly online modules to start and stick with an accessible and individualized exercise program. Participants will get to keep the provided exercise starter pack, and Garmin watch after study participation.

Participation Eligibility

  • Be 18 years of age or older
  • Have a Spinal Cord Injury (SCI)
  • Be able to perform arm-based exercise
  • Have internet access

More Information

If interested in participating, please contact:

Amber Lopez
amber.lopez@shepherd.org
404-350-7656