Spinal cord injury affects approximately 294,000 people in the United States, with roughly 17,000 new cases every year, and 1,000 people with traumatic spinal cord injuries live in the state of New York. Most spinal cord injuries are caused by motor vehicle accidents, severe falls, sports injury or an act of violence resulting in significant loss in motor, pain and sensory abilities. Spinal cord injury can result in not only the loss of motor control such as quadriplegia, and peripheral sensation, but also bladder and bowel dysfunction, sexual dysfunction, neuropathic pain, and autonomic dysreflexia.
At Burke Neurological Institute, our research into spinal cord injury ranges from understanding the processes that control regeneration in animal models of injury to studying the effects of rehabilitation and the use of robotics in patients. Our labs study sensory signaling processing that occurs in individual cells, cell transplantation to repair injured spinal cord, electrical stimulation of spinal cord circuits from the brain to spinal cord injury, and how recovery can be improved through neuro-rehabilitation.