“I like to say that our spinal cord injury research group is doing a holistic approach…A lot of times with spinal cord injury, people focus on the mobility aspect—that people can’t walk anymore—and that’s important, however, there are a number of other things that happen after spinal cord injury.”

When individuals experience spinal cord injury, it can result in a loss of limb function and mobility. Although this is a common focus of research, these individuals also face secondary complications, including loss of bladder function, cardiovascular instabilities, and gastrointestinal issues, among others.1

At Kessler Foundation, Trevor Dyson-Hudson, MD, director, Center for Spinal Cord Injury Research, and co-director, Spinal Cord Injury Model System Center, and colleagues are attempting to better address these issues. Additionally, researchers at the center are looking into other challenges that these individuals face, including environmental impacts, healthcare disparities, and nonpharmacological pain interventions.

In an interview with NeurologyLive, he shared insight into the needs of this community beyond mobility assistance. 

1. Hage EM. Acute complications of spinal cord injuries. World J Orthop. 2015; 6(1): 17–23. doi: 10.5312/wjo.v6.i1.17.