Cardiovascular disease has become the leading cause of death in the spinal cord injury population. Increased reliance on the renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system (RAAS) is believed to decrease falls in blood pressure when moving from a laying down position to upright; however, findings in the general population link the RAAS with remodeling and restructuring of the arterial walls. Therefore, intervention to stabilize and normalize blood pressure should be a priority in individuals with spinal cord injury who have low blood pressure. Advances in stimulation on the skin of the spinal cord offer an approach to restore cardiovascular control and improve blood pressure regulation; however, electrode placement and stimulation parameters needed to increase blood pressure are not well understood. Therefore, the aim of the study is to identify placement of electrodes on the skin, and frequency and amplitude of the stimulation to regulate blood pressure.
Although life expectancies have improved in the SCI population, longevity remains below the general population, due to increased incidence of cardiovascular disease, which is the leading cause of mortality in individuals with chronic SCI. Autonomic nervous system dysfunction and blood pressure instability contribute to the increased cardiovascular disease risk in the SCI population; however, because a majority of individuals with SCI remain asymptomatic the diagnosis and treatment of blood pressure instability is not a clinical priority. This is due, in part, to lack of safe and effective interventions, even though mounting evidence strongly supports adverse effects of blood pressure instability on the cerebral circulation, cognitive function, and quality of life. Identifying individualized transcutaneous stimulation parameters that safely and effectively increase and stabilize blood pressure in hypotensive individuals with SCI will provide the foundational evidence to support eventual wide-spread clinical utility throughout the VA healthcare system. 10 participants who are cleared, will go through multiple mapping sessions to find out the most appropriate electrode placement to increase blood pressure and then will perform an orthostatic provocation on a tilt table during stimulation to determine differences with stim and without. The study will take approximately 7-8 study visits, of between 3-5 hours, per participant.
|Condition||Spinal Cord Injury|
|Treatment||DS8R, Orthostatic tilt|
|Clinical Study Identifier||NCT05180227|
|Sponsor||VA Office of Research and Development|
|Last Modified on||13 May 2022|
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