Long Term Genital Nerve Stimulation to Improve Urinary Continence

  • STATUS
    Recruiting
  • participants needed
    16
  • sponsor
    VA Office of Research and Development
Updated on 4 December 2022

Summary

Bladder spasms after spinal cord injury (SCI) can result in incontinence, urinary tract infections, kidney damage, trigger dangerous increases in blood pressure and decrease independence and quality of life. The investigators' long-term goal is to develop and provide a "bladder pacemaker" able to restore bladder continence for Veterans with SCI. Electrical stimulation of sensory nerves can stop bladder spasms during a doctor visit. However, this approach has not been tested during long term home use. This proposal will 1) determine how well sensory stimulation reduces incontinence and improves quality of life for Veterans with SCI during 1 year of home use, and 2) produce an effective take home system that can be used by more Veterans and other VAs.

Description

The clinical problem of neurogenic detrusor overactivity (bladder hyper-reflexia) is among the most serious problems encountered by Veterans with neurologic injuries such as spinal cord injury (SCI). The majority of persons with SCI suffer from neurogenic bladder (73%) and only 17% of persons with traumatic SCI manage their bladders with voluntary micturition. The investigators' long-term goal is to develop and clinically implement a "bladder pacemaker" able to restore bladder continence for Veterans with spinal cord injury (SCI). This proposal will 1) determine the long-term effectiveness of genital nerve stimulation (GNS) to chronically ( 1 year) reduce urinary incontinence and improve quality of life for Veterans with SCI, and 2) develop and produce an effective take home GNS system that can be used by more Veterans, given to Veterans at the end of the study and used in future multi-VA studies.

The rationale for studying chronic GNS is based on the demonstration in humans with SCI that abnormal hyper-reflexive bladder contractions can be acutely inhibited and bladder capacity acutely increased using GNS. The peripheral and easily accessible location of the dorsal genital nerve (DGN) allows surface stimulation and therefore provides the potential for a less complicated surgical intervention than is currently available, increasing the number of individuals who could benefit from bladder control neural prostheses. While GNS has been demonstrated to be effective acutely by multiple groups, relatively few groups have attempted to test this approach for more than a day.

Details
Condition Neurogenic Bladder Dysfunction
Treatment Genital Nerve Stimulation
Clinical Study IdentifierNCT03472599
SponsorVA Office of Research and Development
Last Modified on4 December 2022

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