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Current Studies Criteria

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.

CLINICAL TRIAL FOR SEVERE PERIPHERAL NERVE INJURY

Purpose

The primary purpose of this research study is to evaluate the safety of injecting one’s own Schwann cells along with nerve autograft (eg. sural nerve – the sural nerve is a sensory nerve in the leg) after a severe injury to a major nerve has occurred. The secondary purpose of this research project is to evaluate whether transplanted Schwann cells can enhance recovery of sensory and motor function.

 

Criteria

Inclusion Criteria

 

  • 18 to 65 years old
  • Severe sciatic nerve injury, brachial plexus injury, and/or major injury of the arm or leg with nerve loss within the previous year

Exclusion Criteria

 

  • Unable to safely have an MRI
  • Injury to legs that prevents the study doctor from being able to remove part of the sural nerve if needed
  • Severe nerve injury with a gap length greater than 10 mm
  • History of radiation or cancer in the area of your nerve injury, which includes primary tumors of the nerve
  • Currently pregnant or test positive for pregnancy upon enrollment
  • Disease that the study doctor believes will interfere with participant’s safety or compliance in relation to the study procedures
  • History of active substance abuse
  • Allergy to gentamicin
  • Positive for HIV or Hepatitis B or C virus

 

Duration

5 Years

 

Enrollment Open Until

10 participants are enrolled.

 

Principal Investigator/Contact

A LIFESTYLE INTERVENTION TARGETING ENHANCED HEALTH AND FUNCTION FOR PERSONS WITH CHRONIC SCI IN CAREGIVER/CARE-RECEIVER RELATIONSHIPS: EFFECTS OF CAREGIVER CO-TREATMENT

Purpose

To determine the effect in health and functional impact of a lifestyle intervention in people with chronic SCI and their caregivers. We are interested in seeing if the complementary caregiver intervention enhances health and functional benefits obtained by the SCI individual.

 

Criteria

SCI men and women and their caregivers (enrollment as a couple). SCI: motor complete or incomplete, C5-L1, traumatic or non-traumatic, non-progressive spinal injury; 18-65 years old; ≥1 year post-injury. Caregivers: healthy; 18-65 years old; who provide social and/or physical support to the SCI participants.

 

Duration

Approximately 14 months total, including a screening visit to assess cardiometabolic risk for the SCI individual. Additional testing periods at time of enrollment, baseline, and 6 and 12 months for SCI and caregivers.

 

Enrollment Open Until

September 2020

 

Principal Investigator/Contact

Dr. Mark S. Nash / Dr. Luisa Betancourt

 

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

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

 

Duration

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.

 

Enrollment Open Until

September 2020

 

Principal Investigator/Contact

Dr. Mark S. Nash / Dr. Luisa Betancourt

STATIN MONOTHERAPY FOR TREATMENT OF ENDOCRINE METABOLIC DISEASE RISK

Purpose

Research study to determine the safety and efficacy of statin therapy (which is typically used to lower cholesterol and treat heart disease) for increasing bone mineral density (bone health) among adults with chronic motor-complete Spinal Cord Injury.

 

Criteria

Non-progressive spinal cord injury; SCI men and women. SCI 18 -60 years old; with a chronic Motor complete SCI (C1-T10 AIS A/B); 2), traumatic spinal injury; ≥2 year post-injury; able to provide a contact number, and ability to attend the study visits and be able to take oral medications and swallow independently.

 

Duration

Approximately 12-16 months total, including a screening visit to assess eligibility. Additional testing period visits and phone calls scheduled throughout the course of the study.

 

Enrollment Open Until

August 2020

 

Principal Investigator/Contact

Dr. Mark S. Nash / Dr. Luisa Betancourt

 

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.

 

Criteria

Men 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.

 

Duration

Approximately 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.

 

Enrollment Open Until

June 2020

 

Principal Investigator/Contact

Dr. Kevin A. Jacobs / Dr. Mark S. Nash

 

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 postinjury;18-75 years old; GRASSP strength subscore of 5-35 on at least one side.

 

Duration

Approximately 34 weeks.

 

Principal Investigator/Contact

FERTILITY EVALUATION

Purpose

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

 

Criteria

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

 

Duration

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

 

Enrollment Open Until

Open-ended

 

Principal Investigator/Contact

Dr. Nancy Brackett / Sonny Aballa

 

UTILITY OF MRS BRAIN BIOMARKERS OF PAIN PHENOTYPES AFTER TRAUMATIC BRAIN INJURY (TBI)

Purpose

To compare subjects with TBI and chronic pain (TBICP), subjects with TBI and no chronic pain (TBINoP), and matched pain-free controls (CNoP) on Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy (MRS) and Diffusion Kurtosis Imaging (DKI) measures.

 

Criteria

Group I: TBI and chronic pain, fluent in English, 18-50 years old, non-penetrating head injury, TBI must have occurred at least 6 months prior to entering study, mild or moderate TBI, moderate chronic pain for minimum of three months.

Group II: Pain-free TBI, fluent in English, 18-50 years old, non-penetrating head injury, TBI must have occurred at least 6 months prior to entering study, mild or moderate TBI.

Group III: Pain-free controls, fluent in English, 18-50 years old.

 

Duration

2 visits, each lasting 3-4 hours over a 2-4 week period.

 

Enrollment Open Until

Summer of 2020

 

Principal Investigator/Contact

Dr. Eva Widerstrom-Noga / Loriann Fleming

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.

 

Criteria

Group 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

 

Duration

1 visit lasting 1.5 hour

 

Enrollment Open Until

August 2020

 

Principal Investigator/Contact

Dr. Eva Widerstrom-Noga / Dr. Roberta Vastano

DEVELOPMENT OF PAIN EDUCATION FOR IMPROVING PAIN HEALTH LITERACY AND QUALITY OF LIFE AFTER SPINAL CORD INJURY

Purpose

To incorporate the perspectives from individuals with Spinal Cord Injury or SCI who experience neuropathic pain, their significant others, and SCI healthcare providers to develop a relevant, consumer-grounded educational resource regarding SCI-related pain for the SCI community, their families, and healthcare providers.

 

Criteria

Group I: People Who have SCI-related Pain for 6 months or longer

Group II: People who are Close to a person with SCI-related Pain

Group III: Healthcare Providers who serve the SCI patient population (up to 75 years of age)

 

Duration

3 visits lasting 30 minutes to 2 hours

 

Enrollment Open Until

December 2020

 

Principal Investigator/Contact

Dr. Eva Widerstrom-Noga / Loriann Fleming

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.

 

Enrollment Open Until

30 people complete the study.

 

Principal Investigator/Contact

Dr. Shirin Shafazand / Dr. Mark Nash

RESPIRATORY PERFORMANCE AND PREDICTIVE FACTORS IN SCI

Purpose

To determine normative values and create predictive equations of respiratory performance for the SCI population. We also hope to find factors that predict respiratory compromise. Lastly we hope to determine the effect of abdominal binders on breathing assessment measures.

 

Criteria

Men and women with SCI who are over 18 years old

Duration

After your first in-person visit you are invited to come back for an optional second in-person visit within one month. Our study team will follow up with you via phone or email contact at 1 month, 6 months, and 1 year after your initial visit.

 

Enrollment Open Until

Open-ended

 

Principal Investigator/Contact

Dr. Mark Nash / Dr. Katie Gant / Dr. Annie Palermo

If you would like to be considered for these or future Miami Project trials or studies, please register now!