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    Walking Improvement for SCI With Exoskeleton (WISE)

    Community dwelling iSCI participants may improve clinical gait function by engaging in a gait training regimen, where robotic exoskeletons can readily deliver a precise dose and simultaneously reduce the physical stress imposed on therapists using conventional manually assisted stepping practice. Exoskeleton training is predicted to improve function in participants receiving usual care, but not superior to intensity-matched manual training. The rationale to implement exoskeleton robotics as preference in gait training is based on precision dosing, over-ground training, and reduced therapist burden for high repetition training.

    The investigators aim to demonstrate that Ekso exoskeleton training can significantly improve gait speed in stable chronic, community-dwelling incomplete SCI (iSCI) participants. The objectives of this study are the following:

    Primary Objective

    To demonstrate that a 12 week robotic gait training regimen can lead to a clinically meaningful improvement in independent gait speed on the 10 Meter Walk Test (10MWT) in community dwelling participants with chronic iSCI.

    Secondary Objectives

    1. To examine the economic factors such as number of physical therapists/staff required during training.
    2. To analyze the physical burden on therapists assisting and supervising during training.
    3. To study the influence of factors that may modify the gait recovery in the chronic incomplete SCI population (demographic, clinical, functional, psychological, balance, etc.).

    Cerebrospinal Fluid Drainage (CSFD) in Acute Spinal Cord Injury

    Acute spinal cord injury (SCI) affects 10,000-14,000 persons per year in the United States (Burke, Linden et al. 2001). There are 150,000-300,000 persons living with significant disabilities from SCI at any given time (Bernhard, Gries et al. 2005).

    The average age of incident cases of SCI is 47 years and about 78% of the cases are males (DeVivo and Chen 2011). Estimates of the lifetime costs to care for someone with a SCI range from $325,000 to $1.35 million and the yearly cost to society reaches $8 billion (Sekhon and Fehlings 2001). With better long term care technologies, these costs are expected to continue to rise.

    Although there have been significant advances in accessibility for people with disabilities, the goal of medical science is to overcome the physiological barriers imposed by the injury itself and allow these individuals to regain their pre-injury level of neurological function (Rowland, Hawryluk et al. 2008). The injury to the spinal cord occurs in two phases. The first phase is the primary physical damage due to the impact energy of the compressive nature of the injury. The damage can be very complex with shearing of the axons, destruction of the cell bodies and disruption of the microvasculature at the site of injury.

    The secondary phase of the injury begins soon after the primary injury has occurred and can be influenced by many factors such as hypoxia, hypotension, and the extent of the primary injury. Spinal cord ischemia post-injury causes a significant increase in cell death and more significant neurological disability. Limiting tissue hypoperfusion post-injury can decrease the amount of cell death and axonal damage.

    Lumbar cerebrospinal fluid drainage (CSFD) together with increased mean arterial blood pressure (MAP) in the immediate post-injury period can reduce spinal cord tissue hypoperfusion. By reducing spinal cord hypoperfusion through elevation of MAP, less cell death and axonal damage will occur, leading to an improvement in neurological function.

    The feasibility of CSFD as a means for reducing the intrathecal pressure (ITP) in patients with acute SCI has been demonstrated in a small randomized controlled trial by Kwon et al (Kwon, Curt et al. 2009). The limitations were a small sample size, broad inclusion criteria, lack of statistical power calculation and restricted drainage regimen (maximum 10 mL per hour).

    Carotid Revascularization and Medical Management for Asymptomatic Carotid Stenosis Trial (CREST-2)

    Prevention of stroke involves managing and treating risk factors. Most strokes are caused when blood flow to a portion of the brain is blocked. One place this often happens is in the carotid artery. This blockage is called atherosclerosis or hardening of the arteries.

    The purpose of this trial is to determine the best way to prevent strokes in people who have a high amount of blockage of their carotid artery but no stroke symptoms related to that blockage. Each eligible participant will be evaluated to determine which procedure(s) is best for him/her. All participants will receive intensive medical treatment. In addition, participants will be randomized to receive the selected procedure or not.

    The trial will be conducted in the United States and Canada by physicians carefully selected on their ability to perform the procedures at low risk. Another key component of the trial is that important stroke risk factors, including hypertension, diabetes, high cholesterol, cigarette smoking, physical activity, and diet will be managed intensively. Participants will remain in the study for 4 years.

    Infusion of Apomorphine: Long-term Safety Study (INFUS-ON)

    This Phase 3, multi center, open-label study will assess the long-term safety of continuous infusion apomorphine in advanced Parkinson’s disease (PD) patients who are unable to achieve adequate control despite optimized noninvasive therapy. Further, this study will assess the clinical effectiveness of continuous infusion apomorphine in reducing “off” time in advanced Parkinson’s disease patients and to assess the clinical effectiveness of continuous infusion apomorphine in improving “on” time without troublesome dyskinesias.

    About Barrow

    Since our doors opened as a regional specialty center in 1962, we have grown into one of the premier destinations in the world for neurology and neurosurgery. Our experienced, highly skilled, and comprehensive team of neurological specialists can provide you with a complete spectrum of care–from diagnosis through outpatient neurorehabilitation–under one roof. Barrow Neurological Institute: Discover. Educate. Heal.