UCLA Research Studies

Andrew Skinner December 20, 2020 News, Noteworthy, SCI


Are you a high-level respiration impaired quadriplegic?

Daniel Lu, MD PhD and researchers from the Neurosurgery Department at the University of California, Los Angeles are recruiting participants for a research study about using spinal epidural implant to treat respiratory dysfunction after cervical spinal cord injury. This study may help us to better understand whether spinal cord stimulation can improve respiratory function and wean patients from mechanical ventilation.

You are eligible to participate in this study if you are at least 18 years of age or older, have severe cervical SCI with mechanical ventilator dependency or have compromised speech of cough.

The study will take place in UCLA. Your participation will last between 6 months to 2 years with twice weekly treatment sessions at UCLA lasting up to 2 hours per session.

As part of participating, your baseline breathing ability will be assessed and conditioned. If you are deemed a candidate, implantation of electrodes will be performed to stimulate your spinal cord. You will be treated with the electrode for 1 year to wean off of mechanical ventilation and/or improve your breathing function.

You will be paid for your participation in this research. A payment of up to $400 will be paid at the conclusion of each month for successful study participation (up to $150 per month for transportation and up to $250 per month for study participation).

If you participate, there is possible anticipated direct benefit of improved respiratory function along with other function such as upper extremity function. However, as this is an experimental study, there is no guarantee that you will benefit.

If you are interested in participating in this study, please contact Naomi Gonzalez [email protected] or (310) 267-2975.


The research lab of Neurosurgeon Daniel Lu, M.D., Ph.D. at UCLA is accepting participants in a research study on the effects of non-invasive stimulation to improve bowel, bladder, and sexual function in people with spinal cord injury who have a diagnosis of detrusor sphincter dyssynergia (DSD). If you have a spinal cord injury and do not have to ability to urinate without a catheter, but are unsure if you have DSD, we will arrange a visit with an urologist to confirm.

Below are the criteria in order to be a participant in this study:

Inclusion Criteria:

-Age 18-75

-At least 1 year post injury

-Non-progressive SCI at C2-T8


-Neurogenic Bladder requiring CISC (clean intermittent self-catheterization)

-The ability to travel to UCLA twice per week for 7 months

Exclusion Criteria:

-History of significant autonomic dysreflexia

-Ventilator dependency

-Musculoskeletal dysfunction (current fracture or infection)

-Clinically significant depression

-Ongoing drug abuse

-Received Botox injection within the last year

-Previous bladder surgery

-Significant cardiopulmonary disease

If you are interested in participating in this study, please email our study coordinator, Aryeh Kashdan, at [email protected].

If you or someone you know needs help, please contact us.

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