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Improving Secondary Health Conditions

Neuropathic Pain

Principle Investigators: Dr. Eldon Loh and David Ditor (Parkwood Hospital, London)

Neuropathic pain is a common complication following spinal cord injury (SCI) that significantly decreases quality of life. Treatment options are limited, and current treatments can have significant side effects. Those with SCI have identified a need for additional treatment options, alternative to traditional medications.

Cannabinoids and an anti-inflammatory diet are two newer treatments that may provide pain relief while being better tolerated. This study will evaluate the benefits of these treatments for neuropathic pain after SCI. Study participants will receive either an anti-inflammatory diet, cannabinoids or a placebo for 6 weeks. Following this, a combined effect of these treatments will be evaluated for a further 6 weeks.

It is expected that an anti-inflammatory diet and cannabinoids will significantly decrease pain intensity and improve function. The combination of both treatments together is expected to have a greater effect than each alone.

Urologic and Women’s Health

Principle Investigator: Dr. Blayne Welk (University of Western Ontario, London)

Maintaining bladder and kidney health are important priorities for people who have suffered a spinal cord injury. Bladder changes can happen with few symptoms, and these can lead to a higher risk of urinary infections, incontinence, and kidney dysfunction, and can negatively impact quality of life. In order to diagnose these changes, with the support of ONF, Canadian experts have created the Canadian Urology Association Guideline for the Management of Neurogenic Bladder. This guideline outlines the routine kidney ultrasounds, kidney function testing, and urodynamics for people with SCI; different testing intervals are required based on risk factors for serious bladder dysfunction.

This project will determine how well these risk factors predict serious bladder dysfunction when routine bladder and kidney tests are performed as suggested and measure patient satisfaction with this process. The project will also produce important complementary knowledge translation tools through consultation with key stakeholder groups.

Principle Investigator: Dr. Anne Berndl – Accessible Care Pregnancy Clinic, Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre

An increasing number of women with physical disabilities are choosing to become pregnant. Spinal cord injuries (SCI) often affect bladder function requiring medical intervention to achieve social continence and prevent infections and kidney damage. Women with SCI have specific considerations during pregnancy, especially surrounding bladder health. The effect of pregnancy and birth on long-term urogenital health in women with SCI is unknown, however this information is essential to provide evidence-based prenatal care.

The Canadian Spinal Cord Injury Urohealth Summit 2016 Stated that longitudinal patient registries are necessary to understand and study neurogenic bladder as a research priority. This study aims to assess the effect of pregnancy on urogenital health in women with SCI through the creation of an international registry. The initial project plan is slated for 3 years, but this registry has the potential to continue running and provide long-term data on the urogenital health of women with SCIs.

References

A perinatal health framework for women with physical disabilities

Neurogenic bladder in spinal cord injury patients

Pregnancy and spinal cord injury

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NeuroMatters is the source for news and information about research and best practices in injury prevention, care and treatment of spinal cord injury, acquired brain injury.

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