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These studies are recruiting people within the first day or two after injury


Purpose: The purpose of the proposed clinical trial is to demonstrate the safety and efficacy of intravascular hypothermia as part of the early hospital management and treatment for acute cervical SCI. Each year in the US, there are over 11,000 new cases of para- and quadriplegia and 100,000 new cases of partial but permanent neurological losses due to acute SCI. Thus the potential for clinical hypothermia following SCI to improve neurological outcome has significant value. Many patients suffering SCI become permanently dependent on caretakers and become a financial liability to both the family and society. Hypothermia has the potential to improve outcome so that more patients suffering SCI can regain independent motor and sensory function and remain economically productive members of society. The use of modest hypothermia through intravascular cooling may ultimately lead to better care of the patient with acute SCI and may also have more widespread uses in patients presenting with stroke or cardiac arrest. In the long-term, this research may lend support to the use of hypothermia that could in turn save money for the patients, hospitals, the government and society as a whole.

Criteria (Inclusion): 18 – 70 years of age, AIS Grade A – C, Glasgow Coma Scale ≥14, able to start hypothermia treatment within 24 hours of injury, non-penetrating injury. Patients urgently taken to the operating room for surgical reduction may also be included.

Criteria (Exclusion): > 70 years of age, AIS Grade D, hyperthermia on admission (>38.5ºC), severe systemic injury, severe bleeding, pregnancy, coagulopathy, thrombocytopenia, known prior severe cardiac history, blood dyscrasia, pancreatitis, reynaud’s syndrome, cord transection

Study Start Date: August 4, 2017

Estimated Completion Date: March 2020

Status: Enrolling

Principal Investigator: Allan D. Levi, M.D., Ph.D.

Website: ClinicalTrials.gov


Summary: The Miami Project and UM Department of Neurological Surgery are part of the North American Clinical Trials Network (NACTN). NACTN is a network of institutions that is developing the infrastructure, methods, and skilled personnel needed to conduct trials for SCI. Presently, the collaborative centers are collecting natural history data from newly injured people to determine the medical and rehabilitative outcomes and complications that occur in people receiving standard of care. Participants are evaluated for one year post-injury. The Miami Project has already enrolled more than 35 people to this registry. This information will help determine the design of SCI clinical trials because we will better understand complications that are risky for interventions at specific times post-injury and what degree of spontaneous recovery would be considered normal for different types of injuries.

Purpose: The NACTN Spinal Cord Injury Registry is a network of clinical centers collecting de-identified data from patients admitted through the Emergency Department of a NACTN center at the time of injury with an initial (first time) spinal cord injury (SCI). Information will be collected on the natural history of SCI and course of treatment through the first 12 months from the date of injury or long as medically indicated. Data collected includes imaging information from CT or MRI scans, neurological and general medical outcome and rehabilitation evaluation. No intervention is given other than standard of care for spinal cord injury, intensive monitoring and frequent follow up care.

Criteria: Any patient male or female > or equal to 18 years of age with first time spinal cord injury caused by trauma and has neurological deficit with paralysis (weakness) or loss of sensation (touch), Has not received prior medical of surgical care for this injury at an intermediate hospital, Must give informed consent.

Study Start Date: July 2005

Estimated Completion Date: July 2028

Status: Enrolling

Principal Investigator: James D. Guest, M.D., Ph.D.

Contact: George Jimsheleishvihi

Website: ClinicalTrials.gov

This study is recruiting people who have been recently discharged from inpatient rehab (within 2 months)

Stakeholder Perceptions and Clinical Assessment of Cardiometabolic Disease/Syndrome After Spinal Cord Injury

Purpose: It is known that risks for heart and blood vessel disease (atherosclerosis) and abnormal sugar metabolism (diabetes) are elevated after SCI. The investigators don’t know whether individuals were ever told by their physician if have these risks, or currently have these risks. We are interested to determine if individuals with SCI are overweight, have abnormal sugar metabolism (insulin resistance or diabetes), have blood pressure that is too high, or have blood fats that are outside of acceptable ranges. This information will be measured and compared with the individuals’ clinical report of their physician’s or other health care professionals (nurses or therapists) advice of having these risks. As these risks may change with time after SCI, the Investigators are also interested in seeing whether this information changes after one and two years of living with a SCI.

Criteria: Motor complete or incomplete, C5-L1, traumatic spinal injury; 18 – 70 years old; within 2 months of discharge from initial rehabilitation post-injury.

Duration: August 4, 2017

Estimated Completion Date: Approximately 24 months total, including a screening visit to assess risk for heart, blood vessel disease, and blood sugar metabolism for the individual with SCI. Testing periods at time of enrollment, 12 months, and 24 months after.

Status: Enrolling open until September 2021

Principal Investigator: Mark S. Nash, Ph.D.

Contact:  Luisa Betancourt, Ph.D.

These studies are recruiting people with a spinal cord injury, regardless of date of injury

Fertility Evaluation (Men Only)

Purpose: To determine the cause of low sperm motility in men with SCI.

CriteriaMen; between 18- 45 years old; all levels of injury; any time post-injury.

DurationVisit laboratory about once a month for 1 to 6 months.

Status: Enrolling open-ended.

Principal Investigator: Emad Ibrahim, M.D.

Contact: Sonny Aballa

Effects of Bodily Illusion and tDCS on SCI-Related Neuropathic Pain

Purpose: To determine to what extent neuropathic pain following spinal cord injury (SCI) is reduced after a non-pharmacological treatment involving bodily illusion (BI) and transcranial Direct Current Stimulation (tDCS).

CriteriaGroup I: SCI and chronic pain (SCICP) group: Men or women, fluent in English, 18-70 years of age who have: (1) Incomplete cervical injury (2) with persistent pain for a minimum of three months prior to entering the study that is at least moderate in severity, defined as ≥ 4 on a Numeric Rating Scale (NRS) ranging 0 to 10.

Duration13 visits. Visit 1 and Visit 13 last 3 hours. Visits 2 to 12 last 30 min each.

Status: Enrolling open-ended.

Principal Investigator: Eva Widerstrom-Noga, Ph.D.

Contact: Roberta Vastano, Ph.D.

These studies are recruiting people who were injured at least one year ago

Physiological and Behavioral Regulation of Feeding after Spinal Cord Injury

Purpose: The goal of this study is to determine the effects of spinal cord injury on appetite and gut metabolism following 2 meals in adults with and without SCI.

CriteriaMen and women with complete and incomplete C3-L3 chronic (at least 1-year post-injury) spinal cord injury (AIS A, B, and C) over the age of 18 years old

Duration2 visits over the course of 2 weeks. Each study visit will take approximately 4-5 hours to complete.

Enrollment Open Until: 16 persons with and 16 persons without SCI are enrolled. Compensation is provided following study completion.

Principal Investigators: Dr. Gary J. Farkas

Postprandial Fat Metabolism Following an Acute Exercise Bout in Persons with Spinal Cord Injuries

Purpose: To determine the effect of spinal cord injury (SCI) on the metabolism of fats following feeding of a liquid “mixed meal” containing 50% carbohydrates, 35% fat, and 15% protein. Secondarily, to determine the effect of pre-meal exercise on metabolism of fats from the meal.

CriteriaMen with and without SCI. SCI: motor complete or incomplete, C5-L1, traumatic or non-traumatic, non-progressive spinal injury; 18-60 years old; ≥1 year post-injury. Neurologically intact: healthy; 18-60 years old.

DurationApproximately 3-4 weeks total, including a screening visit to assess body composition and cardiorespiratory fitness for the SCI individual. Following assessment, two experimental trials will occur separated by approximately 1 week. Each full trial requires ~8.5 hr of testing.

Status: Enrolling open-ended (suspended due to COVID-19)

Principal Investigators: Dr. Kevin A. Jacobs / Mark S. Nash, Ph.D.

Motor Plasticity, Intermittent Hypoxia and Sleep Apnea

Purpose: The purpose of this study is to learn about the effect of sleep apnea and low oxygen on muscle strength and lung function in people with chronic spinal cord injury. You will be asked to briefly breathe in air with a lower than normal oxygen content (hypoxia) for 90 seconds at a time, several times during a 3-hour test (Acute intermittent hypoxia or AIH protocol). We will then measure your muscle strength and lung function after each test.

Criteria: To participate in this research study, all of the following must be true for a person: age greater than 18 years; have a spinal cord injury (SCI) for > 1 year. If you get invited back for the second part of the study you should be willing to participate in study measurements 3 days in a row and come back for follow-up on 2 additional visits

Duration: Initially we will require an at home sleep study to see if you are eligible for the second part of the study. Participation will require 6 visits over the course of approximately 18 days; between 1-3 hours required each visit to complete study measurements.

Status: Enrolling until 30 people complete the study.

Principal Investigators: Dr. Shirin Shafazand / Mark S. Nash, Ph.D.

The Safety and Efficacy of the Use of a Brain-Computer Interface-Based Electromagnetic Field Treatment in the Management of Chronic Spinal Cord Injury (SCI) Patients: A Pilot Study

Purpose: To evaluate the safety and efficacy of non-invasive, low intensity and low frequency electromagnetic fields targeting the central nervous system (CNS). Application of electromagnetic fields will be administered as an adjunctive treatment along with physical therapy, with the goal of enhancing the recovery process in people with SCI.

Criteria: Incomplete, cervical-level spinal cord injury (AIS B-D); 12-30 months post-injury; 18-75 years old; GRASSP strength subscore of 5-35 on at least one side.

Duration: Approximately 34 weeks.

Status: Enrolling open-ended.

Principal Investigators: W. Dalton Dietrich, Ph.D.

Altered Body Representation in People with Spinal Cord Injury and its Association with Pain Sensation

Purpose: To define changes in body ownership underlying compromised multisensory integration in spinal cord injury (SCI) individuals by using the rubber hand illusion procedure (RHI); ii) to determine the relation between compromised multisensory integration after SCI and its impact on pain.

CriteriaGroup I: SCI and chronic pain (SCICP) group: Men or women, fluent in English, 18-50 years of age who have: (1) Incomplete, level of injury from (C2-T10); (2) persistent pain for a minimum of three months prior to entering the study that is at least moderate in severity, defined as ≥ 4 on an Numeric Rating Scale (NRS) ranging 0 to 10.

Group II: SCI no pain (SCINP) group: Same entry criteria as the SCICP group less the pain criterion.

Group III: Healthy control subjects group No Pain: Participants will be men or women, fluent in English, 18- 50 years of age who are non-injured and otherwise healthy.

Duration1 visit lasting 1.5 hour

Status: Enrolling open-ended.

Principal Investigator: Eva Widerstrom-Noga, Ph.D.

Contact: Roberta Vastano, Ph.D.

Spinal Cord Injury Exercise and Nutrition Conceptual Engagement (SCIENCE)

Purpose: The goal of this study is to assess the impact of home-based functional electrical stimulation leg cycle ergometry plus diet versus diet alone on body composition, insulin sensitivity, glucose effectiveness, and basal metabolic rate, as well as lower extremity bone mineral density, lipid profiles, and inflammatory markers in people with SCI.  Participants will be randomized to either diet only or diet and exercise.

Criteria: Motor complete (AIS A, B & C); C4-T4 spinal cord injury; 18-65 years old; >=1 year post-injury

Duration: Approximately 21 weeks total, including a screening visit to assess eligibility.  Study involves 6 visits (every 3-4 weeks) and exercise 3-5 days at home with a teleconference supervision (for exercise group) and weekly teleconference with a dietitian.

Enrollment Open Until: Until 40 individuals are enrolled.

Principal Investigator: Dr. Gary J. Farkas

Contact: Dinorah Rodriguez

Diet and R&M

Purpose: The purpose of this study is to determine the relationship between nutritional needs, metabolic health, and body composition of individuals with and without spinal cord injury. Participants will maintain a diet log at home, interview with a registered dietician, complete a body composition analysis, and participate in fasting blood draw and medical screening.

Criteria: Motor complete C4-L2 spinal cord injury (AIS A, B & C); Age 18-65 years old; Spinal cord injury (SCI) for > 1 year.

Duration: 2 study visits.

Enrollment Open Until: Open-ended

Principal Investigator: Dr. Gary Farkas

Contact: Dr. Gary Farkas

If you would like to be considered for these or future Miami Project trials or studies, please see our Register for a Research Program section, send us a message, or call The Miami Project Education Office at 305-243-7108.

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