Spinal cord epidural stimulation elevates blood pressure in SCI patients with chronic low blood pressure: 5 insights

Shayna Korol -   Print  |

Spinal cord epidural stimulation can safely and effectively elevate blood pressure in patients with severe spinal cord injury suffering from chronic hypotension, according to a study in Frontiers in Human Neuroscience.

 Here are five things to know.

1. Patients with severe SCI frequently experience chronic low blood pressure, negatively affecting their quality of life.

2. Researchers at the Kentucky Spinal Cord Injury Research Center at the University of Louisville studied four patients with chronic, motor-complete cervical SCI with persistent low resting blood pressure.

3. The participants were implanted with an electrode array for epidural stimulation with unique stimulation configurations for each individual.

4. During five two-hour sessions, participants' blood pressure was elevated to normal ranges, which dropped when stimulation ceased.

5. University of Louisville is also screening participants for a six-year study to explore the effects of epidural stimulation on people with SCI. The study will assess the extent to which epidural stimulation can improve cardiovascular function as well as facilitate the ability to stand and voluntarily control leg movements below the injury level in 36 participants with chronic, complete SCIs.

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